FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2000
Five Talents International
P.O. Box 331
Vienna, VA 22183
Five Talents International begins work in the Philippines
More than 1,200 poor Filipino women will be receiving help in the form of small loans and business training in the next year thanks to a partnership between Five Talents International, an Anglican micro-credit initiative, and two Episcopal Dioceses in the Philippines.
“We are very glad to be partnering with Five Talents,” said the Most Reverend Ignacio Soliba, the Prime Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines. “These type of small loan programs fulfill our goal of developing our people and empowering them to become self-sufficient.”
The Diocese of the Central Philippines identified their first priority as Igorot Village, a slum in the eastern part of the capital of Manila. The crowded, polluted conditions and poor sanitation make life miserable for the communities in and around Igorot Village. More than 900 women, many of whom barely survive on $2-3 a day will receive a small loan and business training to build or sustain a small business like sewing, selling fruit or shoe-making.
“It will be exciting to see so many lives transformed as they begin to gain self-sufficiency and independence,” said Craig Cole, executive director of Five Talents International. “This process will help affirm their human dignity and guarantee survival for the families.”
In Baguio City, in the Diocese of the North Central Philippines, the loan programs will be established in the mostly poor hill communities that surround the city. Many of the women have come to Baguio City from the rural mountain villages to find work.
Women like Agnes Amdegan who has six children to raise. She knits sweaters on a manual knitting machine and sells them in the market. She will use her loan of about $55US to buy more materials allowing her to expand her business. She plans to use the profits to send all her children to school.
The two grants of $25,000 each also included training for local Episcopal priests and others to learn management of loan programs.
Five Talents was created in response to requests by Anglican Bishops in developing countries. The Rt. Rev. Simon Chiwanga, Diocese of Mpwapwa, Tanzania, is the International Chairman of the Board.