Archbishop welcomes the work of microfinance charity, Five Talents
Friday 30th October 2009The Archbishop of Canterbury and a priest from Southern Sudan yesterday promoted the benefits of microfinance for the poor through the work of the charity, Five Talents.
A reception at Lambeth Palace brought together key players from the world of finance to hear about the role of microfinance in overcoming poverty. Revd Thomas Anei, a Sudanese priest, described his first-hand experience of these projects working with vulnerable communities in war-torn Southern Sudan.
In his youth Thomas Anei was forced to become a child soldier. After escaping, he returned to school, and was later ordained as a priest. He is now the Training Co-ordinator for a Five Talents project that is transforming lives through a community-managed savings and loan fund with 647 members. Revd Thomas said: "My hope for Southern Sudan is to see sustainable development and lasting peace. We have been in war for all these years, and this is our chance to rebuild our own lives."
Currently supporting 12 microfinance projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Five Talents provides loans and training to over 20,000 entrepreneurs in 10 countries – helping them to build their businesses, create jobs and improve family livelihoods in a sustainable and dignified way. Each partner is linked with the local Anglican church, which helps provide oversight and effective delivery. Today's event is aiming to raise funds that will expand this microfinance work in Southern Sudan.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said: "Five Talents' approach to microfinance brings dignity and economic sustainability to some of the poorest communities in the world. I am delighted to endorse its programmes, working through established church networks, which bring hope and a route out of poverty for thousands of people."