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Stories of Transformation


Visit a Community

Sudan & South Sudan

  • World Concern
  • The Mothers’ Union
  • The Episcopal Church of Sudan, Diocese of Wau

Program Type and Services:

  • “Savings-Led”

The program offers microcredit through Savings and Loan Associations (SLAs). SLA groups determine the terms for the loans from their savings, rates of interest, length and any fees or penalties, making them extremely able to meet local demand and to react to local conditions quickly.

Training focus:

  • Adult literacy and education
  • Business development training: planning, marketing, pricing
  • Social capital development among entrepreneurs
  • Biblical values in the marketplace training
  • Household budgeting and saving

The Community

This under-served area along the border of South Sudan and Sudan contains a population of more than 500,000 people.  With the independence of South Sudan, there is an expectation of enormous economic growth because the region is endowed with great natural resources. There is also a great opportunity for the local population to engage in diverse business opportunities.

At the same time, the region still faces plenty of risks despite the formal separation of Sudan and South Sudan. Infrequent fighting continues in some disputed border areas. Inter-clan conflicts could also adversely affect the program. The area also experiences conflicts between host and pastoral communities due to competition for pasture land and water.

The Program

The innovative microfinance program in the village of Lietnhom is transitioning from the ravages of more than 20 years of war. Years after the peace agreement, hundreds of thousands were still internally displaced and others who had found a home were looking to rebuild their shattered lives.

Working with a consortium of partners including the Episcopal Church of Sudan, Five Talents is assisting a village banking project in Wau in the state of Western Bahr el Ghazal. This is one of the first projects of this type in South Sudan.

The target of this project is the Dinka community in Bahr el Ghazal. The project will empower mainly women by offering credit, literacy and numeracy skills to develop their small scale businesses and increase their competency. In the area, most households are headed by women, as men are engaged in the armed forces. Currently, women survive by doing petty merchandise, beer brewing, keeping cows, and living off what they grow.

Five Talents is also working with Mothers' Union in Khartoum, Sudan, to nurture a literacy and financial education program.

The Need

give10cFive Talents hopes this program will be a model that can be expanded and replicated into other parts of the Wau Diocese and across South Sudan.

We'd appreciate your continued prayers for this transformative program. Please help us expand our work in South Sudan and Sudan either by making a one-time donation or by signing up to "Walk with Us" as a recurring donor. A monthly gift of $10 will transform up to five lives.

Are you on Facebook? Become an online advocate for Five Talents! Our online "flash drive" has everything you need to promote the work and mission of Five Talents.

Updated January 2014

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Why Five Talents?


Five Talents goes where others don't.

We target high-risk, under-served communities where most people are unable to get traditional loans or other banking services. We work in post-conflict communities in Sudan, South Sudan and Burundi. We work in rural Myanmar, in the slums of Jakarta, Indonesia, and in the mountains of Peru, among other countries.

Five Talents helps the whole person.

We give micro-business loans to our participants. They get training in core business skills. Their local group facilitators and trainers serve as mentors. And they learn to save for when crisis hits, such a drought or an illness.

Five Talents works primarily among women, who are often catalysts for change in the home.

Women gain influence in the household when they return home with savings they've accrued or profit from a micro-business. For example, Florence in South Sudan began making more financial decisions in her family after joining a savings and loan group. Her husband told us, "I want to sell a goat to buy some nails for building, but she [my wife] has to agree first." He added, "Now you have to ask your wife even if you want to sell a chicken!" Often, the women pass this knowledge on to others in the home.

Five Talents partners with local organizations.

Our partner organizations and their staff members are better-equipped to carry on their work thanks to Five Talents. Local staff members help us tailor each program to the needs of each individual community. We also partner in each country with the local church.

Five Talents measures impact.

We track the number of loans distributed and repaid, as well as collective savings. We also look at how family life and communities are being transformed.

pdf Download the "Why Five Talents?" infosheet

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'One of the Best' Non-Profits

cfp1314The Catalogue for Philanthropy - Greater Washington has named Five Talents "one of the best" non-profit organizations for 2013-2014.