Five Talents is an organization of action. It’s not what we aspire to do that transforms lives, it’s what we do, day in and day out, through existing networks in the communities we serve. We like to think we practice what we preach: “Master,” he said, “You have entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.” His master replied. “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:14-30)
These were the words of Peterson Njeru, head of Five Talents in Kenya, when he conducted a 5 day training for the CMS-Africa People in Mission in Nairobi. The training that was conducted in March brought together CMS-Africa trainers, Timothy Mission Partners, Representatives and many others with a view of equipping them to engage in sustainable Business for Mission work. The trainees were to follow in Apostle Paul’s advice of passing on the knowledge learnt to others and let the word spread in churches and communities to ensure that Christians do not live as job seekers but job creators in this current age and time.
“To be able to work and achieve results on the microfinance in the churches, there is need for proper education,” observes CMS-Africa International Director Dennis Tongoi.
The World Bank estimates that 80% of sub-Saharan Africa is unbanked. This is sometimes because the bank is simply too far or expensive for them to reach. Low levels of education mean that many lack the ability to negotiate the complexities of a formal bank as well. In many cases, the bank views these people as simply too risky to work with. The impact of even the simplest financial infrastructure on the lives of entrepreneurs is clear to see.
“Rather than try to combat poverty from the top-down, microenterprise fights poverty from the ground up by working to directly to change the lives of those most affected by poverty.”
Bishop Simon Chiwanga, Tanzania, Five Talents Founder.
To date, we have up to 6 Anglican dioceses in Kenya which have embraced the concepts of Five Talents such as; Embu, Mbeere, Thika, Kericho, Nakuru etc.
In the feedback session, it was observed that people have ability to contribute funds for start-up capital, the problem lying instead in the management and growing of the seed capital into profits and wealth. There is social capital, especially amongst the communities in Kenya, but there is little realization that they can turn it into a microfinance enterprise so that they can grow.
“There are so many other communities that are able to have a structured and organized way of engaging in savings and lending and investment that will lead them to prosper,” observed one of the participants, Rev. Barrack Oluoch.