Mobile Banking and the Long Rains
In Kenya, there are two rainy seasons a year. Farmers take advantage of this to plant two crops. When the rains are late in coming, farmers must rush to plant one crop and harvest before it’s time to plant the next. The rain brings life here in Kenya and when the long rains start, there is no lack of lush green growth everywhere you look.I was fortunate enough to join the Nuru team during a long rain season. In every program, projects, ideas, and a spirit of leadership are budding. The CED program is always on the move, working on new initiatives to reach the poorest of the poor with savings-led services and trainings that will lead to financial security. We are further developing our product based loans (Jamii Development Fund). We are pushing forward with our mobile banking initiatives. We are scaling to new areas. But the most inspiring growth to witness is that of the people we work with.
Andrew Chacha is an extraordinary encouragement every day I work with him. Andrew was a member of the police force for 13 years. After fighting corruption without seeing much fruit, he decided to become a pastor. His congregations quickly grew until he was managing 7 churches—and making no income from it. In order to sustain himself and his family he started farming on two acres he inherited from his father. He often rents additional plots to farm maize, tobacco, bananas and tomatoes. When Nuru first came to Kuria West, he became a group representative for one of the savings groups and quickly shone as someone dedicated to Nuru’s vision. Last week, he was promoted to a full-time Field Manager position with the CED Program. Andrew’s spirit, dedication and tenacity are standing proof of what people can do with opportunities. He is a sponge, soaking up every training, challenge and idea we throw his way. However, what he has brought to Nuru is even more inspiring. He is always bringing new ideas to the table to help us improve our services and trainings. Recently, he mentioned that picture calendars might help people understand what we want to advertise, as well as remind them of the dates of important Nuru events. He urges his congregations to save. And he passionately encourages everyone in the skills he has adopted since working with Nuru. When asked, he said, Nuru drives him to help the community. That is already in his heart, but Nuru gives him practical applications to accomplishing this. He is a humble leader whose voice is well respected and who is always putting the needs and feelings of others before himself. I never cease to be amazed by the character of people the world around and I am so grateful to have such an amazing asset on the Nuru CED Progam Team.
I look forward, whether short rain or long rain, to being a part of Nuru as it continues to grow.
To read more about me check my bio on The Team page.