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Anthony McKernan, Development Director at Five Talents UK, recently returned from a trip to Uganda, where Five Talents is setting up a new program in Kitgum.
During his trip, Anthony met Ismael (pictured above), who sells charcoal to support his family. Ismael buys wholesale and sells in smaller quantities in the outskirts of Kampala. He is currently on his third loan cycle.
Earlier this month, Five Talents Uganda's Program Director, Esther Nakamatte (L), participated in a special service with the Most Rev Rowan Williams (R), Archbishop of Canterbury, in St George's Camberwell in London.
The event was organized to mark International Women's Day and Mothers Day and was sponsored by the Anglican Alliance. Esther plays a key role in one of Five Talents' most established programs, which is currently expanding to the area of Kitgum at the invitation of the Anglican Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Benjamin Ojwang.
The area was once controlled by the warlord Joseph Kony, the subject of the viral "Stop Kony" campaign that has been sweeping the globe. Benjamin Ojwang was himself abducted once during Uganda's more than 20 years of conflict.
Are you looking for something inspiring to share on your Facebook page?
We recently posted a slideshow to our YouTube and Vimeo pages that explains our mission and shares the remarkable story of Joy in Uganda – a woman who used a $150 loan to start a brick-making business. She literally turned mud into money, creating an enterprise that now employs 13 people and is providing not just for her own family, but for other families in her community as well.
The slideshow also contains updated numbers about the fight against extreme poverty in the developing world.
In 1981, about 50 percent of the world lived on less than $1.25 a day, according to the World Bank. Today, new estimates suggest that about 17 percent of the world finds itself in that category. Extreme poverty has been cut in half over the last 30 years, and Five Talents is committed to contributing to this positive trend by equipping business-savvy women and men with small loans, business skill training and spiritual support in order to help them grow their micro-businesses into sustainable enterprises.
One of the key verses reads that the master gave talents to his servants "...each according to his ability." This phrase – "each according to his ability" – contains a liberating message for the poor, and also for ourselves. This Gospel reading suggests that we are made in the image of God and, therefore, all of us have value and gifts to use for ourselves, our families and our communities.
Five Talents is built on this belief. The poor have value and can be empowered to tap their own unique gifts and abilities to create a better life. When Five Talents began 11 years ago, words like sustainability, economic empowerment, and self-supporting churches were just beginning to be whispered. Now these words are being shouted from every corner of the world.
I dare say Five Talents has helped to lead that conversation as a means of growing God's Kingdom.
"I was there for a three-week trip and then I came home and I said I would never go back. The food was terrible, and it was hot and muggy and gross." After a pause, he added, "and so the next summer I was back there, conducting research for my mater's thesis [at Georgetown]."
Maggiano told his story at a forum on Five Talents and its partnerships held on the VTS campus on September 13. Five Talents CEO Craig Cole and Director of Philanthropy Mary Beth Campbell (pictured here) were invited to speak at the event, before taking questions from students in attendance.
I've been in Thika, Kenya, for this past week, training entrepreneurs for Five Talents International. Thanks to the wonders of modern communication, I'm writing this introduction on a borrowed laptop while sitting in the restaurant of the Blue Post Hotel in Thika.
Three years ago, it was an answer to prayer that led Ginna Vickory to the St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church Prayer Shawl Guild in Portland, Ore. Now, it’s the gift of prayer that has led her to merge this ministry with the work of Five Talents.
Feb 7, 2011 Business as Mission Network By Dan King
Bob Larson is the President of Reynolds Food Packaging, an industry leader in the production and sale of a full range of stock and custom products for the foodservice, supermarket, food processor and agricultural markets. He was also recently elected to the Board of Directors for Five Talents International, an organization that is fighting global poverty through microfinance and education.