CDT - Community Development Trust

Community Development Trust, the local institutions we have helped establish in dioceses in Kenya to run our savings and loans programmes there. Each CDT is a registered Trust with its own Board of Kenyan directors; at Five Talents, we want all of our programmes to be locally owned and managed.

Cell Group

Within each Trust Group, members form themselves into cell groups of, typically, 5 people. A Trust Group might be comprised of 4 cell groups or even up to 50 cell groups. Cell group members co-guarantee one another's loans; whenever a member of a cell wants to take a loan from the Trust Group, the other member of the cell must agree to guarantee the loan, and to repay it if the member defaults. This helps keep repayment rates very high; members in a cell group know and trust each other, so they make good credit decisions. Members of a cell must not live together or be related.

Credit Led Programme

Where the loan capital fund is externally-sourced; unlike in savings-led programmes, the loans are not made from members' own savings but from a loan fund held by our local partner. Gifts made to credit-led programmes will often go into this Loan Fund so that we can make more loans to members. The interest here goes back to the institution and helps cover its operating costs.

Also known as Training Officers or Loan Officers, these are the staff of our local partner institutions who go out to villages to form savings and loans groups, collect savings and make loans (in our credit-led programmes) and deliver training.

Field Officers

One of several mobile phone-based money transfer and microfinancing services widely available in Kenya and Tanzania. It allows users to deposit, withdraw, transfer money and pay for goods and services easily using a mobile phone. M-Pesa is a branchless banking service - customers can deposit and withdraw money from a network of agents that includes airtime resellers and retail outlets acting as banking agents. To date, about 18 million M-Pesa accounts have been registered in Kenya, thus giving millions of people access to the formal financial system for the first time. This is particularly helpful in the deprived rural areas where Five Talents operates and where traditional banks are few and far between.



The technology we use in our programmes, to track membership, savings and loans, generate reports and enable mobile money transactions. Musoni System is a cloud-based management information system (MIS) that Five Talents is introducing to its programmes in Kenya and Tanzania. Accessible through handheld tablets, this intuitive and simple to use book-keeping and a record-keeping system has the potential to enable both our partners and our groups to become paperless. Musoni also links to mobile money transfer systems such as M-Pesa and so also has the potential to make our groups cashless over time. For more information on the introduction of Musoni in our Tanzania and Kenya programmes see here.

 The total value of all loans in the portfolio which are 30 days or more overdue. 

Portfolio at Risk 30+ (PAR 30+)

SACCO (Savings and Credit Co-operative)

A Savings and Credit Co-operative (SACCO) is a democratic, unique member-driven, self-help co-operative. It is owned, governed and managed by its members who have the same common bond: working for the same employer, belonging to the same church, labour union, social fraternity or living/working in the same community. A Savings and Credit Co-operative’s membership is open to all who belong to the group, regardless of race, religion, colour, creed, and gender or job status. These members agree to save their money together in the SACCO and to make loans to each other at reasonable rates of interest. Interest is charged on loans, to cover the interest cost on savings and the cost of administration. There is no profit distributed to outside interests; members themselves are the shareholders. The members are the owners and the members decide how their money will be used for the benefit of each other. 

Savings-led Programme

Where Trust Groups pool their own savings to make loans to one another. Your gifts here go to fund our CDT staff who form, train, and supervise Trust Groups. The interest on loans in savings-led programmes belongs to the members, as they are lending their own savings.


Sustainable, Transformational, Inspirational and Replicable. This acronym describes the key features we want all Five Talents programmes to have.

The savings and loans groups formed by our CDTs in villages where we work. A Trust Group is open to people of all faiths and none; membership is self-selecting. A Trust Group may number from 20 to over 200 members. The Group elects its own leaders and meets monthly to save together, make loans to one another, and receive business skills training from our CDT staff.

Trust Group