Monday, September 12, 2011


On Sunday, September 11th, Jeff and Sarah hosted a gathering of folks interested in assisting with the NURU project. This is an exciting venture. Nuru International exists to eradicate extreme poverty by holistically empowering rural communities to achieve self-sufficiency and inspiring the developed world to confront the crisis of extreme poverty.

Jennifer and Jamie are fixing the salads. Sarah and her friends prepared a wonderful buffet of foods.

The caramelized onion salad with blue cheese was yummy.

The spiral ham had a wonderful glaze and was a favorite of mine.

Who can go wrong with grapes, wine, and cheese?

The desserts were outstanding.

John Handcox introduced Billy Williams who explained how the NURU project operates. John is a dermatologist in the practice with Jeff. He and his family are outstanding folks. We are blessed to have them among our friends.

Billy Williams and wife Jamie are equally wonderful and dedicated folks. Billy is the Grassroots Movement Director at Nuru International based at WVU. Billy is one of those renaissance folks and can speak Fran├žais, KiSwahili, Shawnee, American English. He is a member of the Eagle Clan of the Youghiogaheny River Band of Shawnee Indians and served as an elected representative of the tribal government for 8 years.

Let me post the operation principles that guide NURU. This is taken from their Facebook page. Please visit their website at


1. WE LISTEN to those living in extreme poverty through interviews, community meetings, and extensive surveys.

2. WE INNOVATE with local leaders and brainstorm appropriate, sustainable solutions to their greatest needs.

3. WE EMPOWER the poor through training and mentorship to lift themselves out of poverty.

4. WE PARTNER with other NGOs and organizations that employ local people to undertake infrastructure projects (like drilling new wells and building new schools), and invite volunteers in the developed world to come to Africa and share their expertise.

5. WE EVALAUTE our work by inviting outside teams of professionals to measure our results and tell us what we can do better. We then go back to step one and listen all over again to create even better solutions.

6. WE SCALE our work by training trainers to go out and empower other local communities.

7. WE LEAVE after 5 years to prevent dependency.

This is certainly a valuable and unique effort to help alleviate poverty. I would urge you to become involved.

The gathering was informative and was certainly a joy to be once again with family and new friends.


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