Kula Family and Friends,
About six years ago, a dear friend told me, “Nothing is invented and perfected at the same time.” When he said that, I didn’t want to hear it, and I definitely didn’t want it to be true. Kula had just launched, and I wanted desperately for it to be perfect. I quickly realized, however, that it was anything but perfect. Over time, that statement became a comfort, a challenge, and sometimes even a crutch. While its role may sway, one thing remains constant: it is our true north.
Our team embraces our imperfection. It reminds us that we can be better, that we should always be trying to be better. Achieving that requires us to take risks, fail and get back up again, and right our wrongs. This constant refinement has brought us to we are today.
It’s my honor to introduce you to a Kula that is better than we have ever been. What we are doing is not a diversion from the work we’ve always done, but it is a better and more holistic way of doing it. Our work supports business over charity because we know that, in the long run, that is what will eradicate poverty. We believe in the power of mentorship because in order for someone to succeed, they need to believe it’s possible. We believe in investment over loans because we believe in partnership over debt. But more than anything, we believe that every single one of us deserves an opportunity to thrive.
Kula develops entrepreneurs in Rwanda. Through our fellowship that provides industry training, business investment, and life and leadership skills, our fellows are empowered to build profitable businesses, raise healthy families, and send their children to school.
Our team has been working on this fellowship for over a year now, keeping our heads down focusing on a work that matters in a holistic and measurable way, and now we finally get to share it with you.
Currently, we have 474 incredible Rwandans in our fellowship, and our goal is 1,000. They are women, men, and teenage girls. They are coffee farmers, agribusiness owners, and artisans. They are people who are only known for a genocide, when the truth is, they are the people that have overcome one. They are their ancestors wildest dreams. And we believe that because of Kula’s fellowship, our fellows’ children will live a life that once was an unimaginable future.
Our work is difficult. Our goal of eradicating poverty seems impossible. But our team is committed to a work that has no end. We are asking our fellows to spend the primes of their lives on our vision. It’s a big ask and an even greater responsibility. Our invention probably isn’t perfect yet, so we’ll keep perfecting it, but without question, I’ve never been more proud or more sure of the work that we are doing than I am at this very moment.
Now, as we move forward, we get a front row seat to the world getting better. We get to watch triumph eclipse suffering. Our first Liddy Women’s Center graduate said, “We’ve come from a long way, but now we are going somewhere.” Well, we feel the same about Kula. We have come from a long way, but we are going somewhere now. Come with us.
With hope and gratitude,