Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nuru International, Jake Harriman, spoke at the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas at West Virginia University on Oct. 17.
Nuru International focuses on fighting extreme poverty by teaming up with local communities in remote, rural areas across the world to help develop a specialized program centered around the community’s specific needs.
By giving out business and agriculture loans and teaching a variety of skills, Nuru fights poverty through an innovative sustainability engine. Instead of simple handouts or pamphlets, the program gives people solid opportunities to grow and become self-sufficient through mentoring local leaders.
Throughout his speech, Harriman highlighted how anyone and everyone has the opportunity to make a change. “I was a poor kid from West Virginia who became a Marine. If I can make a change, then anyone can make a change,” he said. “How in the world are we going to solve this problem if we don’t believe it can be solved?”
From his personal experiences in fighting on the war on terror, Harriman became convinced that extreme poverty is one of the most prominent contributing factors to the presence of 21st century terrorism. Upon discovering this, he enrolled at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business in hope to build this organization that could possibly rid the world of extreme poverty in his lifetime.
The program serves as a reminder that direct action is a necessity in fulfilling the dream of eradicating extreme poverty. Nuru International, with its unique business plan, reflects a bottom-up approach to slowly, but surely, dealing with global poverty. The ultimate goal of Nuru, says Harriman, is to make itself no longer needed.
– Sonia Aviv