Meet Harriet Baka


"I am based in Juba, but my life daily is in the grassroots with the vulnerable women and children."

As the Coordinator for Mother's Union, Harriet visits churches and communities across the country to help women provide for their families and become advocates for peace.

"According to the culture, women did not go to school and then coupled with the conflicts it has become horrible for women."

In South Sudan, 84% of women never attended school and never learned to read and write. By starting with literacy lessons and then financial literacy and business training, Mother's Union and Five Talents have helped over 16,000 women learn to read and write.

Bringing women together to learn is the first step towards empowerment. Once they develop basic skills, then they form community savings groups and begin to mobilize local resources for business development. To date more than 13,000 new businesses have been created.

Working closely with churches and local communities is key to Five Talents work in South Sudan.

As Harriet explained, "When the community does not understand what it is all about, they cannot own it -they cannot accept it."

However, when communities are actively involved in leadership, development and implementation, they take ownership and they work hard to protect and develop the programs. This is one reason why community savings has become a key tool for peace building in South Sudan.

In a country that has been devastated by hunger and war, Harriet Baka has been a tireless champion for peace and development.

Learn more about The Journey of Hope in South Sudan.