2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the UN International Day of Families. This day serves as a reminder to reflect on the importance of the family unit’s role in development and in everyday life.[1] In Kenya, family structure can vary a lot, but regardless of what form it takes, family is very important in the life of each individual Kenyan. Many organizations and policy makers gathered this year in Nairobi for the International Day of Families in order to honor the importance of family and the holistic services and support provided to them.[2]

At Nuru, our work with farmer families brings us into the heart of the issues being discussed for the 20th anniversary of the International Day of Families. These include: building resilience of families, families as a unit of sustainable development, poverty eradication, education of children, and reduction of infant and maternal mortality.[3]  Nuru Healthcare Field Officers spend time with our farmer families supporting them in the process of behavior change to adopt Nuru’s 10 Healthy Behaviors like drinking clean water, knowing how to avoid malaria, and creating healthy birth plans for expectant mothers.

Nuru farmer families are the center of our work. All of these families and the people who work with them are part of a bigger family as well – the Nuru Family! Nothing reminds me to appreciate family more than loss. On May 13th, two days before the International Day of Families, the Nuru Kenya Family lost our father figure. Philip Mohochi, our beloved Chairman, was suddenly taken from us in a car accident. His work with Jake Harriman made Nuru what it is today. You can see the story of how Tata Philip came to Nuru here: Philip’s Question.

It was beautiful to watch and be a part of the Nuru Family coming together in a time of such sadness. Out of our family’s sorrow at losing our father has grown even greater conviction to live out the vision and example he left for us. Each of us are ready to step up and make Chairman proud by working every day for the good of the Nuru farmer families and by continuing to expand our work towards ending extreme poverty in remote rural areas. Here’s to family.


[1] http://www.un.org/en/events/familyday/

[2] http://parentinginafrica.org/d2/index.php/topics/89-a-call-to-action-iyf-20

[3] http://www.family2014.org/home.php