Nuru Kenya visits Nuru Ethiopia: an unforgettable experience!
Our eagerly awaited day had finally arrived. Nuru Kenya staff – Tom, Sifuna, Rogonga, Bennadette and I (Pauline Wambeti, Nuru Kenya Country Director) – jetted off for an exchange visit with Nuru Ethiopia from February 2-7, 2015. Our expatriate colleagues, Kristin and Amy, accompanied us.
Ethiopia is Kenya’s neighbor to the north and quite a formidable opponent in athletics, challenging Kenya’s dominance on the track in long distance races time and again! It’s a country renowned for its rich culture and beautiful people. All of us from Nuru Kenya were excited for the opportunity to visit this great country.
Our destination was the Nuru Ethiopia project site at Zefine, which is in Gamo Gofa Zone at Boreda Woreda. The hills we ascended to reach the project site is flanked by two lakes, Chamo and Abaya; the view was simply breathtaking!
Our visit was aimed at enhancing networking between Nuru Kenya and Nuru Ethiopia. Sharing learning among staff in our two countries is essential, since we both are eradicating poverty using the Nuru Model. Our team was particularly interested in the best practices emanating from the Nuru Ethiopia co-operative and market linkage strategies – slightly different from the strategies we’ve implemented in Kenya.
The exchange trip was indeed enlightening. Our two teams spent one week together and shared experiences through interactive sessions and field visits. The Kenya team participated in the ongoing Strengths and Needs Assessments for the Education and Healthcare Programs that are set to roll out later in the year. We visited several co-operatives and observed how they are run by volunteer farmers who constitute the various committees that facilitate the smooth running of daily operations. Technical support, in form of training and capital for purchase of inputs, is provided by Nuru Ethiopia through the government structures. The market linkage component enables the co-operative members to sell their produce at quite competitive prices, thus providing them with a return on investment. The integration of the Agriculture and Financial Inclusion Programs in the cooperative strategy was quite distinct and aided the organization in expanding farmer access to much needed agricultural and financial services using a gender sensitive approach. Nuru Ethiopia team has established an excellent relationship with its stakeholders and beneficiaries.
It was not all work during the exchange visit. Nuru Kenya staff took some time off to explore Ethiopia. We enjoyed the spectacular landscape of Zefine, the beautiful nature and wildlife at Lake Chamo in Arba Minch and even paid a visit to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Our entire trip was quite remarkable. The hosts and community were warm and hospitable. The Nuru Kenya team relished the delicious ful, spongy injera and spicy lentils and tibs. All these, coupled with a serene and secure environment, contributed to a truly unforgettable experience.
Thank you, Nuru Ethiopia!
About Pauline Wambeti
Nuru Kenya Managing Director — Pauline Wambeti believes in “not waiting for other people to make the changes for us, but to make the changes ourselves.” Having invested over 15 years in community development in Kenya, Pauline is currently the Managing Director for Nuru Kenya. Prior to joining Nuru, Pauline worked for the United Nations Environment’s Regional office for Africa-Nairobi. She has been a Programme Officer for the National Organization for Peer Educators; a Business Development Officer for K-Rep Bank Ltd and, a Program Facilitator for Doctors of the World. Pauline has studied Social Work and Community Development in addition to post-graduate studies in Development Studies and Project Management. She is a 2018 East Africa Acumen Fellow.Read More Stories of Hope