This blog post was written by our Creative Communications & Events Officer, Megan Henderson.
One of our donors recently told us, “What I particularly like about Five Talents is that you’re only one step away from the members around the world.”
While we love talking about Five Talents UK as a small organisation with a team that fits around one table, it is also incredible to remember we aren’t actually that small - we are part of a bigger Five Talents family. Five Talents has been serving communities for over two decades and has offices in three different countries - Kenya, the UK and the USA. Together, over 1,000,000 people have benefitted from Five Talents programmes.
Currently, we have active programmes in 8 countries, 15 programme leaders, and over 100 community trainers on the ground who work tirelessly to change lives. Last month I travelled to visit our office in the US - a small building with just a few passionate team members. The US office manages our programmes in South Sudan, Burundi, Bolivia and Myanmar. As our programmes grow, we are working to learn more from each other and grow our programmes together. We are one Five Talents working to transform lives through economic empowerment.
While in the US, I met Bolivia’s Training Coordinator Eva Mamani. She leads the programme alongside her sister Sara. Over the last year, Eva & Sara have carefully facilitated 23 savings groups. Much like the other countries we work in, they train group leaders to motivate and empower members to save and start businesses.
Eva told an incredible story of a woman, Justina, who started a business with just five dollars. Upon their first meeting, Justina told Eva she was not very smart and didn’t have any skills. When Eva asked Justina if there was anything she enjoyed doing Justina’s answer was quick - cooking!
With some guidance from Eva, Justina took her savings of $5 and cooked 5 plates of food. She was able to sell them and make 10 dollars. With her profits, Justina made 10 plates of food and sold them for twenty dollars. Today, after taking a loan, Eva says Justina owns her own restaurant. Eva was very quick to point out that Justina was a smart woman with a God-given talent for cooking - she just needed a push from Five Talents in the right direction.