Nuru International

Nuru International is a US-based social venture that equips the poor living in remote, rural areas to end extreme poverty in their communities. [1] Nuru is a Kiswahili word that means “light.” Nuru International currently works in Kenya and Ethiopia .


Nuru International was founded by CEO Jake Harriman , who attended the US Naval Academy and served over 7 years in the US Marine Corps as a Platoon Commander in both the Infantry and a Special Operations unit called Force Recon . Jake led Marines in four operational deployments throughout Southwest Asia / Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia, including two combat tours in Iraq during the Iraq War . He was awarded the Bronze Star for action in combat during his second tour in Iraq. [2]

Harriman’s experiences in combat compelled him to believe that extreme poverty was a factor contributing to global terrorism . [3] Harriman left his career in the Marine Corps and enrolled at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business to start an organization that would fight terrorism by ending extreme poverty. [4] Nuru International began operations in 2008. [5]

Development model

Nuru International Equips trains and local leaders in effective poverty reduction methods gleaned from other humanitarian organisms around the world. Because of this approach, Nuru has been called a “general contractor of the NGO sector.” [6] preventable disease and death, [3] preventable disease and death, [3] preventable disease and death, and 4) lack of access to quality education for children. [7] By partnering with organisms Such As One Acre Fund , Nuru seeks to create an efficient, scalable model [8]

Servant Leadership

Nuru identifies and mentors local leaders in the principles of leadership , and mobilizes the community through these local leaders, providing them with the necessary expertise to lift their communities out of extreme poverty. [9]

Third Party Evaluation

Nuru commissions third party evaluation of the poverty levels of the communities where it works in order to assess its own success or failure. [10] For its next third-party evaluation in 2011, Nuru plans to partner with the International Fund for Agricultural Development , which is a specialized agency of the United Nations in its multi-dimensional Poverty Assessment Tool for assessing the enabling environment. in Nuru ‘s pilot community of Kuria, Kenya.

Sustainability and Scalability

Nuru integrates revenue generation models to achieve national sustainability and achieve national impact. [11]

Pilot project

Nuru International’s first project is in Kuria , Kenya. Located in the southwest of the country, Kuria is one of the poorest districts in all of Kenya. [12]

Since 2008 Nuru has been partnering with the community, with 5,525 farmers and their families having enrolled in Nuru’s agriculture loan program. These farmers are experiencing a 123% increase in maize their yields on average. [13] Nuru’s other program areas ( healthcare , education , community economic development ) operate in concert with the agriculture program comprenant holistic approach to humanitarian development . [14]


  1. Jump up^ Guidestar Profile
  2. Jump up^ “Recession lesson: Confidence without arrogance”by Andrew S. Ross, September 12, 2010.
  3. Jump up^ Uncommon Valor: A Marine Trades His Guns for Goodby Will Laughlin,
  4. Jump up^ Giving to Stanford – Student Profile – Jake Harriman
  5. Jump up^ Profile: Nuru International – One Day’s Wages
  6. Jump up^ The Huffington Post – How to Design for Real Impactby Jacob Donnelly, September 10, 2010.
  7. Jump up^ Non-profit organization Nuru use Macs to end extreme poverty. by Dalrymple, Jim. Loop Insight. November 18, 2009.
  8. Jump up^ Rainer Arnhold Fellows Profile – Nuru International
  9. Jump up^ Nurturing Self-Help Among Kenyan Farmers, by Stanford Business MagazineWinter 2009
  10. Jump up^ Project Redwood Profile
  11. Jump up^ Humanitarian organization has roots (Harriman ’98). Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation. March 24, 2010.
  12. Jump up^ Jake’s Story, Metro News, November 11, 2009.
  13. Jump up^ Nuru International. by Allison Gilligan, Relevant Magazine, Reject Apathy. April 28, 2010.
  14. Jump up^ Behind the Scene with Jake HarrimanIdeation Conference, 2010

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