With our new expat team (FT8) two weeks into their roles, we’re feeling really good about the progress that will be made over the next year.  Our team’s ‘transition’ began on our arrival to Isebania on June 1st.  We spent the next four weeks working closely with the exiting expat team (FT7), first learning from them and their Kenyan staff, then shadowing, and finally managing daily operations with our FT7 counterparts in support.  By the end of the period we were up to speed and ready to roll, and FT8 is off to a strong start – we all look forward to where the program is heading.

This next year is an important one for Nuru Kenya – we will be significantly scaling our activities within our current district of work (Kuria West) while laying the groundwork for our first district to district expansion (we’ll be talking more about this process in future blogs – it’s the first step in our model of expansion that will have Nuru spreading throughout Kenya).  What really makes this year important is that our Kenyan colleagues will be taking more and more leadership – which means we will, as a team, be focused on some really intentional professional development to ensure we have the right people with the right skills in the right places.  FT8 and our Kenyan colleagues are up to this challenge.

Outside of the opportunity to work closely with Chairman Philip Mohochi on overall project strategy and structure, one of the biggest joys I’ve found in my work so far is the opportunity to visit our different project divisions in the field.  Last week, I had the opportunity to visit some members of our Agriculture team (Ag) conducing a pre-harvest farmer training in their area.  A member of our Income Generating Acitivites (IGA) division was there as well, and together the farmers were thoroughly trained in the next steps of their crop cycle.  Notably, it was exciting to see the high level of collaboration between Ag and IGA, as this cooperation is a necessity if we’re going to continue expanding our internal revenue base with which to drive future expansion.  And just two days ago, I spent time with some of our Community Economic Development (CED) staff as they conducted a training in a sublocation – over 100 farmers were in attendance and excited that CED had come to their area, and they’ve now formed savings group and begun a process which in three months will lead to the initiation of loan cycles.

Seeing these two programs working in the field, I continue to be impressed at the professionalism and performance of our field officers as well as with the positive response from Nuru farmers – and therefore confident in the significant growth we have planned.