Today, I have the privilege of introducing our newest addition to the Community Economic Development (CED) team, Mr. Ibrahim Sifuna. Mr. Sifuna was hired as Nuru Kenya, Community Economic Development Program District Manager as of January 2013.

Mr. Sifuna was born in Kakamega District, western Kenya. He is married and a father of six children. Mr. Sifuna was trained at Kabete Technical Training Institute earning a Higher National Diploma in Co-operative Management.  In addition, he has a Diploma in Community Development from the International Centre for Management, UK. Recently he has completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration at Kenya Methodist University.

Mr. Sifuna’s passion for community economic development started 15 years ago when he learned about the power of microfinance in reducing global poverty through his courses at the Kabete Technical Institute. Soon after he graduated from collage, he joined Bukhungu Co-operative Savings and Credit Society in Kakamega district as an Accounts Assistant. He helped the organization to maintain healthy savings and credit management by keeping a clean books of accounts, doing regular bank reconciliation and progressive loan portfolio management.

After a four years stint at Bukhungu, he decided to look for a more challenging job. This was a time when Care International Kenya began a Women’s Economic Development microenterprise project in Nyanza and the Rift Valley provinces. He was assigned at Nyanza province and served as Credit Officer for nearly four years. At this capacity, he helped many poor people in forming saving clubs by mobilizing and offering trainings in areas of group roles and responsibilities, the importance of savings, concept of revolving fund, and other related topics.

Some of his early microfinance clients are now successful entrepreneurs who own micro to small-scale enterprises such as restaurants, pharmacies and retail shops. He is proud to tell that the majority of his clients today are capable of getting enough income to live a descent life, send their children to school, and acquire crucial assets such as house and land.

Soon after the Women Development project phased out, he joined another microfinance organization called Inuka Kenya as Microfinance Coordinator. As head of the microfinance unit he helped the organization in achieving its goal by offering effective leadership.

When he finished his one year contract, Mr. Sifuna looked for an even higher challenge in his career. In December 2005, he joined Action Times Family Care, a non-governmental organization (NGO) operating in Nyanza and Rift valley provinces as Administration and Finance Manager. After four years of successful time in this organization, he felt the need for helping people beyond Kenya’s border.

When opportunities came, he accepted an offer by AMURT International, a Switzerland based NGO, to go and work in South Sudan’s remote districts of Malualkon and Aweil East. As Manager of AMURT’s Microfinance and Livelihood Program, he helped the organization in creating a rural based savings and loan model and training local staff to run the program effectively. Mr. Sifuna is proud of helping the ultra poor of South Sudan who were suffering from decades of civil war, ethnic strife and recurrent drought. The inaccessibility of the location, the lack of basic services and the excessive heat didn’t stop Mr. Sifuna from achieving his long time passion of helping the poor.

Lately he returned back to Kenya to join his family. He is thrilled to join Nuru International Kenya. He looks forward working with the excellent and committed CED team and determined to bring the program to the next level. We in the CED program welcome Mr. Sifuna to join us in the fight against extreme poverty in Kuria West district and beyond.