We are very proud and pleased to share that BOMA Co-Founder and Kenya Program Director Kura Omar was selected as one of the 2018 class of the Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Fellowship was founded in 2013 to bring the essential perspectives of development experts from Africa and other parts of the developing world into the global development conversation. It is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Open Societies Foundation.

“Across the world, local experts and local communities are taking charge of their own futures,” said New Voices Fellowship Director Andrew Quinn. “These are the voices we should be listening for when we listen to the story of global development – because these are the voices that show the way forward on humanity’s greatest challenges, including infectious disease, food security, good governance and climate change.”

Kura was the first person that BOMA founder Kathleen Colson hired after a 2005 trip through drought-ravaged northern Kenya. The suffering she saw inspired her to form an organization to find long-term solutions to the cycle of drought, hunger, poverty and dependence on humanitarian aid. The BOMA Project has been implementing, refining and scaling its holistic poverty graduation program ever since. To date, BOMA has helped 100,000 women and children overcome extreme poverty, with a goal of 1 million by 2022.

In his role as Kenya Program Director for BOMA, Kura oversees program implementation in in Marsabit, Samburu, and Isiolo counties in northern Kenya, and provides technical assistance to BOMA partner Mercy Corps. in Turkana, Wajir and Garissa counties.

Kura says, “This is one of the greatest honors of my life at BOMA. I believe deeply in our mission and do everything I can to contribute to the growth of our vision. Being recognized like this really touched my heart! I am honored and look forward to representing our organization amongst this distinguished group of Fellows.”

The 2018 class includes leading public health specialists, doctors, scientists, activists, social entrepreneurs, policy experts, researchers, and economists, and come from 12 countries across Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The full list of 2018 fellows and descriptions of their work can be found at https://www.aspeninstitute.org/news/press-release/development-experts-2018-new-voices-fellowship/.