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Jake Harriman: Nuru International Doesn't Give Handouts—It Gives Opportunity
Social Change | December 03, 2012

Jake Harriman: Nuru International Doesn't Give Handouts—It Gives Opportunity

Social change speaker Jake Harriman started Nuru International with the goal of "ending extreme poverty in our lifetimes." While that objective is certainly a tall order, he believes that the organization's unique working model will help to accomplish it by teaching those in need to sustain themselves—rather than spending a lifetime relying on assistance from others. "We don't give handouts," Harriman explains in a recent video. "Instead, we equip people with the tools and the knowledge that they need to lift themselves out of extreme poverty forever." The former Marine created Nuru to provide those in need with the opportunity to learn how to earn a sustainable living through education programs and loans—not donations—to give them the ability to start a new life, and help end the cycle of poverty.

As he explains in the video, Nuru has pinpointed 1750 new farmers for 2013 who want to work with the organization to improve the yield of their crops and earn a larger income, all the while teaching others to do the same. So far in 2012, they have added 1000 farmers across four sub-locations to the agriculture program. In total, the organization is now helping over 14,000 people in rural Kenya achieve self-reliance and self-sufficiency. After spending a great deal of time directly involved with people living in the poorest regions of the world while working with the US Marine Corps, Harriman decided he wanted to do something to help those in the most need. On stage, Harriman speaks passionately about his experiences with the people Nuru helps, and how he hopes to expand Nuru's reach in the future.
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