Have you ever wondered why Five Talents works where it does?
Since the organization's founding in 1998, Five Talents has focused on serving communities that are off the beaten path. They are often post-conflict, rural and far from the nearest bank.
These communities have under-served populations stuck in poverty. Starting a savings group, offering micro-business loans and organizing training workshops -- these are services that such communities need desperately if fathers and mothers, husbands and wives are going to see real transformation in their lives and in the lives of their children.
For an example of why we go where we go, look no further than our Myanmar program, which was launched in 2011.
This infographic highlights the need for financial inclusion in the country:
The figures come from a recent report by UNDP, CENFRI and Finmark Trust titled Making Access Possible (MAP) Myanmar.
"Access to an appropriate portfolio of financial services can improve the welfare of the underserved population by helping them conduct their financial lives more efficiently, increase income, manage risks and build up wealth over time," reads the report, which was based on surveys and interviews of people in over 5,000 households.
Five Talents is beginning to help meet this need through its partnership with Mothers' Union. The early stages of this partnership has focused on establishing savings and loan groups in the mostly rural and undeveloped Irrawaddy River Delta region, and in the hot and humid outskirts of Yangon.
Some of these groups are creating joint agricultural enterprises – an innovative approach that has proven to be remarkably effective.
Local community leaders in the country, the world's 14th poorest, see the program as transformative – not just at the individual level, but also at the church and community levels. While change is taking shape across Myanmar, Five Talents programs continue to expand reaching refugees, rural farmers, and other marginalized groups across the country.