I am reading IFAD’s Rural Poverty Report for 2011 right now. It is pretty fascinating. Many parts of it make me feel proud about the work we are doing here at Nuru. For instance, I am glad that we are working with the rural poor, who comprise a majority of those experiencing poverty in the world. I am glad that we are trying to develop and conduct interventions that are sustainable for the members of the community where we are working. I am glad that we have a holistic model, because poverty is experienced as a result of many factors that affect people’s lives. Some of the statistics about urban migration (it is happening globally) and population growth are new pieces of information for me which further made me happy that we are working with the rural poor. As populations exit locations where farming occurs and the worldwide population grows, the need for good solid, sustainable, and teachable farming practices amongst small-holder farmers is increasingly vital.

Some parts of the report, however, remind me that rural poverty is a bigger monster than can be squashed in just a couple of years. It is the result of huge and complex influences on communities, from unfair policies to big businesses and corporate greed to cultural and gender inequities and environmental degradation. All this being said, we are young and we have limited capacity at this point. There is only so much that an organization like ours can do in the time we have existed with the limited resources we have at our disposal thus far. I’m proud of what we have accomplished in that short time, though.

In other news, the Evaluation recruiting process is going very well. I am so pleased with the caliber of candidates that have come our way. I have spoken with a number of U.S. and other developed-country nationals who seem to be incredibly eager to use a tool as amazing as the MPAT and work with us in Kenya for our Evaluation. This week, I have begun speaking with a few firms that are based in Nairobi. These folks are equally enthusiastic and qualified, and with resources and extensive expertise already on-hand in Kenya, which is exciting. We would have to spend less money on travel!

Until next week, thanks for reading…