In the six dioceses where we work in Kenya, wide financial discrepancies remain. Baringo, our newest programme, for example, is among the most marginalised counties in Kenya, with over 52% of residents living below the extreme poverty line. Agriculture is the backbone to local economies, but is vulnerable to extreme weather conditions which can force households even deeper into poverty. Access to a safe place to save, and skills to diversify into non-agricultural businesses, can transform lives.
Five Talents’ focus is on providing our members with training and basic financial services (a safe place to save and access to small loans). This gives families a safety net in the difficult times and allows them to increase their income, so that they have more income to spend on essentials such as nutritious food, healthcare and education for their children. We work with several different partners throughout Kenya and hope to start a new programme in Kenya in 2019.
Our Kenyan programme began in 2006 with just 13 Trust Groups. Today we have over 6,000 members and 123 Trust Groups.
Our Kenyan programmes work on a savings-led model. This means that local partners set up village-based savings groups; we call these ‘Trust Groups’ because the trust between members is fundamental to their effectiveness.
Our Trust Groups often meet after a Sunday service and use the local church as a meeting-place, but groups are open to people of all faiths and none. Anyone can join a Trust Group, as long as the rest of the group accepts them – it is self-selecting and democratic.
Typically, our members are smallholder farmers struggling to make ends meet on less than £1.60 per day. Before they join one of our Groups, they have no safety net to meet crises such as poor harvests or illness, and even if there was a bank within travelling distance, they are too poor to access even the most basic financial services.
Our Impact & Success
After over 10 years of working in Kenya, we have the expertise to scale up our programmes there. We have a proven model, a cadre of expert local staff and the respect of the Anglican Church. There is high demand for our work: other Dioceses are regularly knocking at the door of our experienced programme management team, asking how to start a trust group; and the Archbishop of Kenya himself has invited us to replicate this model throughout Kenya.
After such great success we opened a Five Talents office based in Nairobi, Kenya. Five Talents Kenya is a central resource hub which provides training to our Kenyan partners, as well as partners throughout East Africa.
Talents SACCO, Thika (post-funding partner)
Faithful Servants SACCO Embu
Nakuru Community Development Trust (NCDT)
Kericho Community Development Trust (KCDT)
Western Community Development Trust (WECODET)
Baringo Community Development Trust (BCDT)