It was a hectic previous month. In the past five weeks the Nuru Ethiopia Leadership team has finished leading Level 1 training for the first time, while simultaneously running the Program Planning Process (PPP) for CED.  Through Level 1 training, our Agriculture Community Animators, the team that will implement the Agriculture (Ag) Program in the community, are now familiar with the unique bottom-up and holistic Nuru approach and are equipped with the skills and attitudes of servant leadership. Of course, it is not time for personal and professional development to stop, but we will continue to monitor the development and nurture the growth of these individuals. Seeking to grow, after all, is one of our main tenets of servant leadership.

And despite the fast-pace of our work tempo recently, the Leadership team has made great strides in facilitation skills and are working well together to achieve our common goal to end extreme poverty in our lifetime. At the graduation ceremony of the Ag Community Animators, Matthews (our Community Animator for Metaka Mele kebele), was so moved by those 5 weeks of Level 1 training, that he created a poem about his journey. He read this poem to the Ag and Leadership teams during graduation, and it is no exaggeration to say that the speech was equally insightful and heart-warming, while remarkably rhythmical. It is certainly something that none of us will forget for a long time to come. The poem was 5 pages of inspiration that will continue to push the Leadership team and Ag team forward far into the future.

He spoke about each of Leadership’s trainers, their specific skills and their individual quirks, the concept of servant leadership as a life skill that will extend even outside of the workplace, and his appreciation of each of our individual modules and new skills that were taught and learned. Amsalu, our Dubana Bulo Community Animator, also drew a picture of a chemistry set on the chalkboard and guided us through a complex analogy of how the Level 1 training was like providing the right catalyst for a chemical reaction, and now the Animators are bubbling over with the right skills and attitudes to end extreme poverty in their communities, starting with Nuru’s Ag program.

And even though this was the end of Leadership’s Level 1 training with these Community Animators, everyone left that day feeling like it was just the beginning of our journey. We emerged even more energized, motivated, and focused on our goal. And while we are also equally impressed by the poetic talents of our Animators, we have full faith that these individuals are now ready to put Nuru’s unique philosophy into action with the local community and that they are now the equipped local leaders we need for our mission to end extreme poverty.