Five Talents International has supported Five Talents Uganda since its inception through grant funding and technical support. FTI’s grants (over £450,000 over the last 10 years) have enabled more than 15,000 financially excluded members across 5 dioceses in Uganda to access financial services (savings, loans and insurance) along with training and mentoring. Thanks to the recycling of funds as loans are made and repaid again and again, in total an incredible £4.3m has revolved in small (each typically less than £150) loans during this period. This represents an enormous boost to rural economies and vulnerable households which simply would not have happened without Five Talents.
Five Talents has operated three programmes in Uganda:
- An established programme through Five Talents Uganda
- And a pilot partnership to establish a SACCO (savings and credit co-operative) within the Diocese of Mukono.
- Most recently,
- Five Talents Uganda
- The Anglican Church of Uganda
- Diocese of Mukono SACCO
- Christian Partners in Africa
- Karamoja Integrated Development
Five Talents Uganda
This programme works with over 3,000 clients across 5 branches spread throughout the country:
- Kigezi and Kisoro in the south-west near the border with Rwanda
- Kabale in the west
- Namirembe in Kampala, where the Head Office is also based
- Kitgum, the newest branch, in the north of Uganda bordering South Sudan.
Each branch has its own branch manager with Loan Officers and an Accountant to support the work. Loan officers deliver business training and financial literacy training to groups of at least 5 members who come together to deposit their savings, take loans and receive training and mentoring.
Each group opens a bank account in the name of the group. This has two benefits; first, it means that members enter the formal financial system often for the first time; secondly, it means that Five Talents can pay loans and receive repayments directly into the bank accounts, reducing the risks of carrying cash. Repayments are monthly and once all members of a group have successfully repaid the full balance and interest, the group can take a larger loan. After several cycles, successful clients can graduate to taking individual loans.
After 10 years of funding partnership, Five Talents is now focusing on new regions of Uganda, with an increasing focus on savings-led microfinance.
Five Talents UK has most recently focused its support on the newest branches of Five Talents Uganda: Kisoro and Kitgum. Both are areas of significant exclusion and need. Kisoro borders Rwanda and DRC; Kitgum borders South Sudan and covers 4 districts which were devastated by the 20-year civil war with the Lord's Resistance Army. Even today, recovery is slow and the need for small loans to help clients re-start businesses they lost in the war is huge.
The Diocese of Mukono
Five Talents is also embarking on a pilot partnership with the Diocese of Mukono to help it expand its grassroots SACCO (Savings and Credit Co-operative). The SACCO aims to bring financial services within reach of all communities in the region, and as a member-owned co-operative, the benefits will be shared by everyone. Five Talents is supporting the introduction of robust social performance measures during our initial 12-month partnership.