Nuru International Leadership Sustainability

There were certain core beliefs that Nuru International began with several years ago most of which have been discussed thoroughly on these blogs.  I will not introduce anything new here, but we are doing something we had not done before to move towards these core beliefs that Nuru was founded on.  Since you have already seen the title of this blog and you know which program is writing it, you may have already guessed that this belief I am talking about is sustainability and more specifically sustainability of the leadership of Nuru Kenya and of all countries that we hope to work in.

One of the flaws of the “system” we have seen is organizations who cannot sustain impact.  When the expat workers leave, taking funds and ideas with them, a project often falls apart.  Expats may find other work or settle into comfortable lives back in the “West” but the communities they leave behind fall back to sickness or malnourishment and go back to a life without choice.  We recognized early on that us “wazungu” cannot stay at a project indefinitely, that real sustainability comes from expat workers leaving and the local leaders managing and growing the project to benefit more and more people in their surrounding communities.  As you have read in these pages, this is essentially the reason behind the introduction of this program and with the help and leading of our Leadership team members, Francis, John and Paul, Nuru has made much progress in this regard.  But we are facing a big test in this model which will show how much we have actually come and how much we can move forward in the near and far future.

Our team had been working tirelessly to write curricula and deliver lessons to our local leaders at Nuru.  We have grand plans and need to create even more lessons and bring our staff through all of the curricula in order to prepare them to take their programs and manage and scale them successfully.  It is a taxing task and in order for us to be more efficient and effective we needed to grow our team.  Therefore for the past couple of months John, Paul and Francis had been writing a Training of Trainers curriculum and recruiting six more members to join our Training Team.  These new trainers will be tasked with helping our current trainers facilitate lessons with the rest of Nuru staff.  Chelsea and Tanner developed the original three to become highly effective facilitators and now it will be their job to develop these new Training Team members into effective trainers.

The team used the training they received from Chelsea and Tanner as well as training manuals from organizations such as CAWST, UNESCO, Tearfund, UNASO (Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organizations), and CEPDA (The Centre for Development and Population Activities) to create their own version of the Training of  Trainers curriculum.  The team also recruited and offered positions to six individuals who began this training on 10 April, 2012. After five weeks of this training, these new training team members will begin training Nuru staff in mid-May.  As mentioned earlier this is a crucial time for our Leadership program as the successful training of these new staff members and their successful training of Nuru staff will expose the realization, in part, of one huge goal of Leadership sustainability.

I am very excited for what will happen during this ToT session and will be sharing more about how successful or not successful we were on these pages in following posts.

About Thomas Hong

Leadership Program Director — Thomas has worked in education and leadership development in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. He holds a B.A. in Economics and master’s degree in teaching from the University of Virginia and an MBA in international organizations from the University of Geneva.

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