PALO ALTO, California — Former United States Marine and Stanford Business Masters graduate Jake Harriman is the founder of a flowering organization dedicated to ending global poverty called Nuru International. After some self described, haunting and life changing experiences in the special forces, Jake decided that he would dedicate his life to this new cause.
Once admitted to Stanford graduate school, Jake soon began assembling a team and a model that could indeed end extreme poverty, maybe even in our lifetime. He found that people were naturally drawn to such a cause, and now has put into action two projects, with his team and model behind it.
That model centers around self-empowerment, sustainability and efficiency. Here’s a synopsis of what that ends up looking like:
First, they like to start with the question of who, not what. Once a community is targeted, they begin by identifying leaders with true character and the respect of their peers. These people are then equipped with the trivium method and other skills needed to better understand the problems their community face.
The second step is to then let these leaders process their new skills and allow them to identify the most pressing needs of the community. With the framework for these needs having four categories.
The first category, the most pressing matter, involves hunger. Second, the ability for the community to withstand financial shocks, followed by the category of preventable disease and concluded with education for children. Once determined, a baseline is established so as to be able to monitor progress or regression.
Third, Nuru contributors, introduce the world foremost poverty intervention strategies and methods. The leaders of the community, now equipped with the skills to learn and having identified the most pressing issues can choose from these strategies. Using what would work best, for their own communities context. Once chosen, these leaders can effectively call their communities to true and effective action and manifest positive social change.
With an acknowledgement of the power of truly free markets and small business, the final stage is to create a self-sustainable funding model for these newly created solutions. Nuru applies the same method of seeking the community’s leaders in finding local business that can eventually fund the new programs.
With training, access to resources and capital, these businesses are then equipped to provide the market driven products that allow the solutions to come to fruition.
Conclusively, Nuru’s goal is to leave behind a self-sustaining, ever-improving and local cycle of knowledge and capital. Allowing communities to lead themselves out of extreme poverty. Spearheaded by the local leaders, and businesses that have been equipped with the ability to lead their communities to a better life.
The pilot project took place in Kenya; due to its tremendous success, a second project was launched in southern Ethiopia. Their hope is that once ‘proof of concept’ is attained, rapid scaling of the model both organically, and through improved techniques via Nuru themselves, will occur.
With the organizations roots and mission statement grounded in the goal of ending extreme poverty worldwide. Their hopes are ambitious, their dreams and visions are creative and imaginative, but perhaps most importantly, they are fighting for a truly noble and therefore moral cause. It is the obligation of any human too support or at least be aware of such work.
– Tyler Shafsky