Last summer, Akuol received an emergency loan from one of the only community-owned banks in South Sudan.
The loan of just $12.50 enabled her to take her young daughter to a medical center for life-saving treatment.
Today, Akuol has her own business and continues to save and work for a brighter future.
Through Five Talents, she's learned business skills, gained access to financial services, and developed a community of friends.
Akuol had never run a business before, and according to a local program manager, she was "desperate on how to take care of her two children."
For a young mother in one of the world's poorest communities, moving from survival to development requires creative thinking and community investment.
As part of a small group, Akuol became connected to the local church and learned practical skills for healthier living.
"I was trained about the importance of business and I was given loans to start a tea business", Akuol says.
Akuol's tea shop now serves passengers at the local bus station.
Akuol is proud that the income from her business enables her to buy food for her family every day.
She continues to save with the community bank and plans to open a full restaurant in the near future.
Learn more about economic growth and community development in South Sudan through the Journey of Hope:
Photos (from top): Outside the new Community Bank in Kuajok. A view of the city market.