Before the end of the year, the Leadership Program was gearing up to make quite a few changes, and now that we have entered January, these changes are in full swing. First, we are currently working on growing our team. With two staff members leaving us during the holiday break, we have now hired two more Field Managers and are in the process of screening applications for the District Manager position. The Leadership team is diligently preparing to train these new staff members by editing and practicing our Training of Trainers curriculum, which is the primary focus of our onboarding process. This curriculum assists new hires to understand Nuru’s mission, the Leadership team’s goals, as well as techniques for facilitation and curriculum writing. Current Leadership Field Managers have been with the program for about eight months now, and will be primarily responsible for training the new Field Managers. This will be a great opportunity for them to expand their skills and contribute to our training process.

Secondly, as mentioned in the last blog, with the start of the New Year, also brings the start of a new schedule. Our training structure has shifted from half days for 6-8 weeks, to full days in which each training will now be completed in one week. Our goal with this new schedule is to make attending trainings more convenient for each program, to make the information easier to obtain and digest for participants, and to provide an increased number of trainings throughout the year. Our first training series, Focus Project One, will begin in February and we are excited to have the new Field Managers involved. It will be great to see them interact with the rest of the Leadership team as they work together to prepare materials and teach lessons. I am confident that they will create a dynamic and exciting classroom environment alongside our veteran Field Managers.

Coming back into the project with fresh eyes has also helped me to gain more perspective on the skills of the Leadership team. For example, in the short time I have been back, I am continually amazed at their improvement in computer skills. When I first arrived in Kenya, the team struggled with basic computer programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel. At this point, almost all of the Leadership team can now successfully navigate the Dropbox folder, where most of our curriculum is stored, and nearly all of them can correctly type and format lessons in Microsoft Word. One of our Zone Managers is also especially skilled in Excel and has the ability to create and format new documents, as well as utilize equations to assist us in determining assessment percentages and average scores. Computer skills may seem like something that is a given or assumed, but here in Kuria West, the skills that the Leadership team have been able to build in the last six months is nothing short of impressive and I know with practice they will only continue to improve.

While there is still room to grow, it is important to stop and celebrate the small successes. The team has improved immensely in the last six months in a variety of areas such as facilitation, curriculum writing, and weekly planning skills. Each member of the team has made great personal and professional strides that have contributed to their success at Nuru and I look forward to seeing this continue in the coming months.