In 2012, our steadfast focus was on making gains toward our near-term goal to achieve proof of concept of the Nuru Model. We wanted to build on the R&D of the previous years when we invested time researching best practices and testing various prototypes to tighten our model up and build a more efficient organization. I am proud to say that we are making great progress toward this end.
Our 2012 metrics showed us the tremendous impact the Nuru Model is having in Kenya: Nuru members experienced an average maize yield increase of 123%; our members repaid 96.8% of agriculture loans and 100% of cash loans distributed through our Community Economic Development Program. These achievements, along with the training offered by our Healthcare and Education Programs, are giving families the option to make meaningful choices to improve their lives in a sustainable way.
One of the things that impressed me most about Nuru’s growth this past year is the organization’s growing independence from me. Founder’s syndrome is a disease that kills many promising new companies before they can reach a catalytic growth phase, and we never want to fall into this trap. I am so humbled by the people and systems that we as a team have put in place to become a more sustainable organization.
2012 was an important year for transparency, accountability, iteration, and growth. We had third-party investors take a close look at the Nuru Model to identify weak areas so we can innovate to produce greater levels of impact and sustainability. Dalberg Strategic Advisory Firm conducted a robust, high level strategic review of the Nuru Model and organization as commissioned by key Nuru investors. Lessons learned from these strategic reviews are currently being incorporated into the Model to drive greater efficacy of our programs and greater efficiency in the organization.
Thank you for making 2012 a year of significant advancement in the global fight against extreme poverty. I look forward now to fighting next to you as we step into 2013 together.
Stay in the fight,