Children Bring Parable of the Five Talents to Life at ‘Market Day’ Event
Read more »
We were delighted to learn recently that Wilson Memorial Union Church in Watchung, New Jersey organized a Market Day for 4th-6th graders who had used the Five Talents Sunday School Curriculum. Can you believe it? They raised over $350!
"As the Minister of our church, I have to say I've never seen a program create as much excitement with the kids themselves as this one," said Reverend Barbara Peters. "I only wish I had experienced something similar during my time in Sunday School when I was young. And, our congregation was so supportive of all the children's efforts. It was memorable for them too!"
Here, Kim Nunn, who organized the Market Day and used the Sunday School curriculum, shares how it helped the children to apply the Bible to their lives and inspired them to raise money for women and men in Five Talents' micro-enterprise development programs:
Q: We understand that the Market Day your church organized was inspired by the Five Talents Sunday School curriculum. Can you explain how the event came about?
A: We were looking for more from our Sunday School curriculum and really wanted to get the kids "hands-on" in a multi-week program that would take their Bible lessons to a new level and show how they can apply the Bible in their lives. The stories for the upcoming weeks all included the theme of "poverty," so we chose that theme. I began looking for help online to build a program and found Five Talents! It was perfectly linked with what we wanted – and so flexible. It was perfect! I particularly loved that Five Talents does not just go in and provide people in need with a temporary gift of food or money, but rather teaches them to develop a business that can sustain them and their family for years to come.
March Matchness: Team Up with Five Talents in March to Equip and Empower Micro-Entrepreneurs
Read more »
Every March, we fall in love again with the story of a Cinderella. A ragtag team from a humble home arena catch a ride on a bullet train to national prominence.
This year, there's another story of transformation, another team of destiny. And you can be on it.
You can help to write the story – not of a Cinderella team, but of micro-entrepreneurs like Mary in Burundi, and Melia in Indonesia.
Donate in March to Five Talents and your gift will be matched. Turn your $10 into $20, your $50 into $100, and turn a woman's life towards hope, dignity and opportunity.
Please give what you can.
We also hope you will share this video on Facebook, Twitter or via e-mail, using the social sharing buttons at the top of this post. Let your friends, colleagues and family know about the micro-enterprise development work that Five Talents is doing in some of the world's most under-served communities.
Donate in March and Your Gift Will Be Matched!
Read more »
We're delighted to announce that current and former members of the board will be matching every donation made during March, up to $50,000.
World Mission Sunday: Connecting the Global Body of Christ
Read more »
I remember sitting in a tiny Anglican Church in Tarija, Bolivia, like it was yesterday. During those beautiful moments, I felt so connected to the global body of Christ as I listened to the Spanish-language sermon and took Communion.
As a Program Officer at Five Talents, I work directly with our local partners – the people who help to implement our programs -- to support them and help them track accomplishments over time. I always tell people that I have the best job at Five Talents because I get to interact with our partners on a daily basis and encourage them in their work.
Five Talents is based out of Fairfax, VA, and our mission is to fight poverty, create jobs, and transform lives through microenterprise development and business skills training. We partner with local, grassroots organizations and the Anglican Communion in Bolivia, Peru, South Sudan, Sudan, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Myanmar, Indonesia, and the Philippines. We seek to build the capacity of local people so they can help empower and transform their own communities. We are here because we believe in individual, family, and community transformation.
In the last four and a half years that I have worked at Five Talents, I have had the opportunity to travel to several countries to visit our partners and to see first-hand the work that they do.
If there is anything I have learned through being a part of church communities and Five Talents, it's that we need each other. We were created to be in relationship with one another. Some of the people who have most challenged me in my faith are our program partners. I wish I could introduce you to all of them! Their stories and their faith have inspired me in unimaginable ways.
5 Reasons to Support the Work of Five Talents
Read more »
Find out what makes our organization distinct -- and effective -- in the communities where we work.
Help Five Talents Meet an Urgent Need in Burundi
Read more »
In June of 2013, Five Talents set out with partner organization Mothers' Union to reach 220 new communities in Burundi. So far, 104 of these communities have received funding; 116 are still waiting.
We're asking for your help to close the gap.
The cost of delivering our services to one person in the program is $50. So, for example, a gift of $100 will enable two individuals to join the program. Gifts of $250 and $500 will enable five and 10 people, respectively.
How does $50 transform a life in Burundi? For every $50 we receive, one person will...
- Join a savings and loan association;
- Begin saving and borrowing money;
- Learn key business skills, such as accounting and marketing;
- Grow an existing micro-business, or start a new one;
- Contribute to an emergency savings fund;
- See their household income rise.
Please consider making a donation today! We need your help to reach women and men in the remaining 116 communities.
Have a Heart: Send Friends and Family a Five Talents E-Valentine
Read more »
This Valentine's Day, show your friends and family some love with an e-card that will benefit Five Talents' microsavings, microcredit and business skills training programs in Burundi, South Sudan and Indonesia.
Each e-card costs just $10 to send. These "valentines" will help others in your network -- friends, family, colleagues -- learn about the transformative impact you are having in partnership with Five Talents.
They will also make a direct impact in the lives of the women and men in our programs. For example, by sending just five Burundi-themed e-cards you will help one woman or man in Burundi gain access to a savings group, lending capital, and training.
Click here to select an e-card and support financial inclusion in the developing world.
Share Our Charity Golf Video and Help X-Out Extreme Poverty
Read more »
Do you know someone living in the greater Washington D.C. area who enjoys playing golf?
How a Savings Group Helped One Woman Grow a Banana Business and Send Her Sons Back to School
Read more »
One by one, Josephine added up her children's school fees. With each additional charge, her heart sank even lower.
There were uniforms to buy – and books, as well as pencils and pens. Her sons, Fabien and Isaac, also desperately needed shoes.
When everything was totaled up, Josephine swallowed hard. Where in the world was she going to get 157,300 Burundian Francs (US $102.15)?
To the 54-year-old widow, the sum was a fortune – a fortune she did not have.
Josephine was one of the first women in Kiyange, Burundi to take part in the Mothers' Union-Five Talents program. After graduating from literacy and numeracy training, she joined a savings and loan association (SLA) in 2011.
It was at this point that Josephine's life – and her income – began to change.
With the help of Mothers' Union and Five Talents, she began to save money and develop her small enterprise selling bananas.
In time, her children were also able to re-start their education, which had stalled several years before when Josephine could not produce the funds necessary to keep them in school.
"As a widow, the amount was too heavy for me, and I could not afford it without any help," she said. "This is why I am very grateful for my association, because it helped me to assist my family and other children to go to school. I requested a loan for my business, [and as a result] I'm able to meet my basic needs and [pay for] my children's school fees."
Five Books on Poverty and International Development to Read in 2014
Read more »
The year ahead promises to be a good one for books covering international development-related topics like poverty, financial inclusion and microfinance. Here are a few of the titles we're looking forward to reading in 2014:
The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor, by William Easterly (March 2014)
The best-selling author of The White Man's Burden returns with a much-anticipated book about how the historic "fight" against global poverty has "trampled" on the rights of the very people it aims to help. Easterly argues for a new model of development "predicated on respect for the individual rights of people in developing countries" – one that "understands that unchecked state power is the problem and not the solution."
Indonesia, Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation, by Elizabeth Pisani (June 2014)
Indonesia -- with its 13,500 islands – ranks among the world's most fascinating and complex nations. Jakarta, for example, is the Twitter capital of the world. And yet, in Indonesia, 80 million people do not have electricity in their homes. Pisani, who has been a foreign correspondent for Reuters, the Economist and the Asia Times, traveled 26,000 miles "in search of the links that bind this impossibly disparate nation." We suspect the book will be a must-read for anyone desiring to learn more about Indonesia.
A Poisonous Thorn in Our Hearts: Sudan and South Sudan's Bitter and Incomplete Divorce, by James Copnall (May 2014)
As the former BBC Sudan correspondent James Copnall argues in his new book, there's a bitter core to the shiny new country -- South Sudan -- whose formation many in the West have been celebrating. Of particular interest here will be Copnall's interviews with ordinary citizens who make up the fabric of this young, troubled nation struggling to establish itself in the shadow of its influential neighbor.