You believe in hope. We make that hope a reality.

Our Vision A world without cycles of unjust poverty where resilience and hope are cultivated in the most marginalized communities.

Our Origin Story

Nuru originated by bringing together people dedicated to a continued life of service. Nuru was founded by former US Special Operations Marine and Stanford University’s School of Business Graduate, Jake Harriman. Jake brought together veterans, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), local leaders in Kenya seeking to give back to their community, and talented professionals dedicated to addressing extreme poverty.

Nuru’s first local nonprofit, Nuru Kenya, was named by Sangai Mohochi and co-founded by Philip Mohochi. This set the framework for all future co-founding of local organizations. The Nuru Collective has expanded its efforts in Kenya and beyond to Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nigeria. We are committed to building resilience by helping some of the hardest-to-reach communities unlock their economic potential,

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Philip's Question

What makes us unique?

We are globally connected and locally rooted. As a small, specialized organization, we bring together the shared expertise of five unique locally-owned, locally-led, best-in-class organizations. Together, the Nuru Collective builds resilience and unlocks economic potential in rural communities.

We work in rural communities.

These are the places exceptionally vulnerable to poverty, conflict, and climate change. Building resilience and cultivating prosperity in these specific communities creates a ripple effect of hope and supports regional stability.

We build sustainable agribusinesses.

We reinforce community strengths and decrease their vulnerabilities. We tailor our agribusiness strategies to increase food production and economic potential, ensuring lasting impact for generations.

We champion local leaders.

We believe in the power of people to lead their communities out of instability and into prosperity and resilience.

We believe that women are key to change.

Women are disproportionately impacted by global injustices, and their inclusion produces disproportionately positive results. We invest in women to positively change families, communities, and ultimately the world.

The Nuru Collective

The Nuru Collective is a team of partner organizations working together to build resilience and unlock economic potential in fragile farming communities. We bring together change-makers and servant leaders–those willing to put in the hard work to create a better world.

Meet the Collective Team

Abiy Meshesha Nuru Ethiopia Managing Director Born and raised in southern Ethiopia and from a smallholder farming community, Abiy has led local and international NGOs in Ethiopia since 2004. Before joining Nuru Ethiopia on March 2018, Abiy worked as Save the Children International(SCI) Regional READ TA Project Manager in Hawassa, SCI satellite office manager in Hadelaela, EKHC DC Medan ACTS Manager in Dilla, and South Adventist Academy Vice Principal in Hawassa. In addition, he worked on short-term emergency projects with Medicins Sans Frontiers. Abiy holds an MA in Sociology and BA in Education.
Aerie Changala Nuru Chief Executive Officer Aerie has been leading Nuru as its CEO since 2020. Prior to assuming his current role, Aerie has been part of Nuru’s leadership since the organization’s earliest days. He led the design of the Nuru model and scaling for the past decade. Aerie’s passion for serving vulnerable and marginalized communities comes from his time serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in northern Burkina Faso. Having spent the majority of his adult life living in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, Aerie has traveled extensively, speaks five languages, and brings a truly global perspective to his work at Nuru. Aerie earned his BA in International Affairs from John Cabot University (Rome, Italy); his MA in International Conflict Analysis from University of Kent (Canterbury, UK); and completed Stanford’s University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Nonprofit Leadership.
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. Msingi wa uongozi wa Pauline Wambeti ni kwa falsafa ya, ‘tusingoje mabadiliko ya maendeleo kutoka kwa wengine, mbali tujibadilishe na kujiendeleza wenyewe.’ Hivi sasa Pauline ni Mkurugenzi wa Nuru Kenya, shirika lililojikita katika kumaliza umaskini uliokithiri, mashinani mwa nchi ya Kenya. Kabla ya kujiunga na Nuru, Pauline alifanya kazi UNEP katika ofisi kuu ya Afrika jijini Nairobi. Amekuwa pia Afisa wa kuelimisha rika katika shirika la NOPE; Afisa wa Maendeleo ya Biashara katika K-Rep Bank Ltd; na Mkufunzi katika shirika la Doctors of the World-Spain. Pauline amesomea Kazi za Kijamii; Maendeleo ya Jamii na Usimamizi wa Mradi. Pauline alishiriki katika 2018 Acumen East Africa Fellowship.
Amy Gaman Nuru Nigeria Managing Director & Global Council Chair Amy Gaman is an impact-driven leader who has significantly contributed to building resilience in northeast Nigeria. With about fifteen years of professional experience in humanitarian and development work, Amy has established herself as a passionate advocate for social and environmental justice. As the Managing Director of Nuru Nigeria, Amy leads a team of professionals in implementing programs that address critical social issues in the region, including social and behavioural change and regenerative agri-business development. Her leadership and innovative approach to development programming significantly impacted the lives of communities affected by conflict and poverty in the region. Amy also contributed to the reintegration of Chibok Girls through her work as Assistant Coordinator with the Atiku Abubukar Center at American University of Nigeria. Amy was also an integral team player in the strengthening integrated delivery of HIV and Aids Services by Family Health International 360, where she was the program coordinator for the UNHCR IDP Profiling and Vulnerability Screening Project; Amy was also a volunteer coordinator for UNHCR. She also led as Chief of the Party for Building Sustainable Livelihoods Activity, a holistic and integrated program for Agricultural and Economic Growth in Nigeria which fostered social cohesion, climate adaptation and community resilience. She has received awards for her work, including recognition from the British Council through the Northeast Humanitarian Hub, the Amazon Leadership Award in human resource management and the Northern Youths Leadership Award from Arewa House. Amy also continues volunteering in policy formulation through ONE Campaign and The Kukah Center, understanding that political leaders need to be engaged for sustainable change. Amy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the University of Maiduguri, a Master of Business Administration from Business School Netherlands and a Master of Art Peace and Conflict Studies from Modibbo Adama University (in-view). She has several postgraduate certifications from the American University of Nigeria, including in Project Management, Business Communication and Leadership. Amy is a Perennial Leadership Fellow New York 2021 cohort and an Acumen West Africa Fellow.
Simon Eli Nuru Nigeria Leadership & Partnership Director Simon holds a B. Tech in Urban and Regional Planning as well as an M. Tech in infrastructure along with several certifications in program design and project management. Simon joined the fight to end extreme poverty after several years of being a tutor in higher institutions, he believes knowledge creates wealth. After experience living as a refugee in northern Cameroon during the time when his home community was part of Boko Haram’s caliphate, Simon is passionate about providing the people of northeastern Nigeria opportunities for hope and meaningful choices.
Tom Kibet Nuru Kenya Chief Operations Officer Tom is zealous about advancing the lives of smallholder farmers continuously by supporting and promoting agribusinesses at the community level. As the Chief Operations Officer, he oversees the planning, coordination, management, and driving revenue growth of the agricultural ventures.Tom is a customer-oriented business development professional with 7 years of vast experience in enterprise development and management. He is keen on building self-sustaining endeavors. He holds an MSc. in Biotechnology from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and a BSc. in Biology from the University of Eastern African, Baraton. He isenthusiastic about solving smallholder farmers’ problems through entrepreneurship.
Emily McLaughlin Chief Culture Officer Emily has over a decade of experience in human resources, training and teaching. Since joining Nuru in 2010, she has been passionate about supporting Nuru’s incredible staff and striving to make Nuru one of the best companies to work for. While Emily earned her BA in English and Communications at Concordia University in the sunny city of Irvine, CA, she’s a Washington native at heart, and you can find her always looking for excuses to get outdoors with her hubby and three crazy kiddos. During her time at Nuru, she has been instrumental in creating a healthy culture that lives out its values in service to communities living in extreme poverty.
Biruk Abayneh Cooperative & Agribusiness Program Manager
Joseph Agricultural Development Manager Joseph is the Agribusiness Development Manager at Nuru Burkina. He believes that fighting against poverty and improving living conditions in Burkina Faso requires supporting the population living in rural areas. He built businesses around providing potable water and organic fertilizers to underserved populations in rural Burkina.
Aïssetou Executive Director Aïssétou has over 20 years of field experience in sociological research, business marketing, development, and community mobilization. With 6 years' experience in grants and program management; prior to NBF, she worked with ISDAO on human rights issues, working with community-based organizations. She holds a degree in sociology from University of Ouagadougou.

Be Hope. Be Nuru.

When you give, you bring hope to farmer families and their communities.

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Nuru Kenya Woman Farmer, 2015