Monday, October 13, 2008


Nuru International, the organization my friends Jake Harriman and John Hancox co-founded to work toward ending extreme poverty one community at a time has commenced it's first project in Kuria, Kenya. The team left the United States on Monday September 22, and have been in Kenya for the last three weeks.

Three of the team members have started blogs to give people back here a little insight into their daily lives. (The fourth is working on content for a soon to be launched website for Nuru.) It has been more than a little eye-opening to read. The team's work is just beginning, and it is really wonderful to get stories of what life is like for them on the ground. I'm setting up a new category on the left so you can easily click to read their blogs.

Janine is nuru's health care specialist and started her blog by sharing a snapshot of one day in her life. One of the most eye opening portions deals with her work in the health care clinic. There are amenities and standards that we really take for granted here in the West among them being the quality of health care that is available here in the states. I recently made a doctor's visit, and there were four people (including the doctor) who offered varied assistance during my visit as I had a mole removed--the whole thing took about 20 minutes. One machine made an incision as another cauterized blood vessels to minimize bleeding. Such a fast procedure would be unheard of in much of the world. In Nyametaburu, there is simply a nurse who does EVERYTHING. No receptionists and no computers and all the records are handwritten by the nurse. No privacy either, patients just stroll in while the nurse is meeting and treating others. But you can read more about it allhere.

Nicole left Chicago to begin working to improve the water and sanitation in Nyametaburu. In one of her blog entries, she shares a very detailed picture of what water and sanitation is like for the people she is serving. As I started reading her accounts, I've had my eyes opened even more to what is the norm for over one billion people. For instance, she shared in one entry what it was like to get clean drinking water. First you have to travel to get to a water source--no plumbing. And then, the water must be boiled once you get back to the house. So then you've got a bunch of really hot water, and then there's still some stuff floating in it--dirt, etc so it has to be filtered through a clean cloth (you've gotta clean the cloth again once you go through this process once). And THEN, you have some clean hot water, so you have to let it sit, and cool down a bit. No refrigerators. No Brita filters. No ice either, so you never really have a COLD glass of water. So after you go through all of that process of acquiring and purifying the water, you wait for it to cool to whatever the temperature is that day, just so you can have a drink. We really do take A LOT for granted here! Wanna read more? Check out Nicole's blog.

Jake started his blog with a Bible story. It's a story of a young man standing up to insurmountable odds, and in the end triumphing over a monstrous evil. He ended that entry with a challenge, and it's a challenge I will echo and leave you with. You see, there's no reason why anybody needs to live this way. The technology and the resources are available--what the world needs is people who are willing to say "Enough!" and begin to DO something! It's time for our generation to STAND UP and GET IN THE FIGHT!

Will you join us in the fight?

You only live once…be the change you wish to see. Be hope…be light…be nuru.

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