Project information

Empowering 6700 families in drought-affected Kenya

Kenya has declared a national drought emergency. As of May, nearly half a million children were suffering from acute malnutrition. Five Talents will work in affected areas training households to build a safety net of savings and grow their incomes to build their resilience to future disasters.

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Five Talents

Five Talents logo
  • Need


    In February the Kenyan Government declared a national drought emergency. By May, food prices had increased by up to 85% leaving the poorest struggling to afford even one meal a day. In addition, 1.2 million children were no longer attending primary school because of the drought.

    While the humanitarian response is helping keep families alive, due to climate change, drought is increasingly frequent and there is a need to build the resilience of the most vulnerable to future emergencies.


    Access to a safe place to save will provide a safety net during emergencies meaning households no longer have to sell assets like a cow that would help them generate an income long-term. Access to loans and growth of incomes will mean families can meet their basic needs.

    As a result, households will be better able to cope during emergencies. A recent independent evaluation showed that 78% of our most vulnerable beneficiaries can cope during emergencies compared to just 48% of non-members.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increased resilience to future drought


    » Members will be taught to save together each month. Over time this will create a safety net families can turn to during emergencies.
    » Members in drought-affected communities where the main activity is agriculture will be taught to diversify their income sources.

    This will be measured by monitoring the savings of drought-affected communities. They will be able to continue saving during drought and will no longer need to sell assets.

    Aim 2

    Growth of businesses & incomes. Over 80% of current beneficiaries have increased their incomes.


    » After saving for six months, groups will disburse loans from their accumulated savings fund. These loans will be invested in growing small businesses.
    » Members will receive basic business training covering how to invest in their business, identifying good business opportunities and record keeping.

    Track the number of loans and use case studies to demonstrate how these have been used. Across our programmes in Kenya, £4.78M has been invested in member businesses through loans.

    Aim 3

    Female members will be empowered to run their own businesses and earn their own incomes.


    » Women will be encouraged to participate and local staff will facilitate discussion with members (male and female) about gender equality.

    This will be measured using a combination of case studies and a survey which asks about changes in decision making power in the home.

    Aim 4

    Increased school attendance amongst the children of members especially during times of drought


    » Increased incomes will mean families can afford school fees. Our work across Kenya has so far helped 18,000 children to attend school.

    This will be measured using the Progress out of Poverty Index (a poverty measurement tool development by the Grameen Bank), case studies and occasional independent evaluations.

  • Impact


    6,700 households will increase their incomes and be better able to cope during drought. We will measure change using surveys and case studies. An independent evaluation showed that 78% of members from vulnerable communities were able to cope during emergencies compared to just 45% of non-members.

    Families will be able to afford to send their children to school and visit the clinic when they are sick. As female members earn an income, they will increase their decision making power in the home.


    The biggest risk is that we don’t raise enough money to support this project. To mitigate this risk, we have a fundraising plan in place to promote the Big Give based on experience of successful Big Give appeals in previous years.

    Another risk is conflict which often accompanies drought. Nakuru in particular is vulnerable to ethnic conflict. To mitigate this risk we ensure our programmes welcome and include people from all ethnic groups.


    We will send two reports to donors from the Big Give Christmas Challenge in the year after the appeal. We will also keep our website and social platforms up to date with news from the programmes and include these in our regular supporter communications.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £80,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £35,500 Local staff salaries (6) salaries for six local staff and per diems for local volunteers
      £20,000 Group training Training will be delivered monthly and will cover basic business & financial literacy skills
      £7,000 Capacity building of staff Capacity building of local staff (e.g. drought-specific training)
      £5,000 Group leader training Leadership are trained to pass on some training to members and led monthly meetings
      £2,500 Office costs Costs of Nakuru & Embu offices
      £2,000 Capital costs Includes motorbikes to reach rural areas and laptops
      £8,000 Five Talents UK Monitoring and evaluation support, capacity building of local staff and reporting
  • Background


    The counties of Embu, Nakuru and Baringo (reached by the Nakuru programme) are some of the poorest in the Kenya.

    These areas are affected by the current drought and so already poor households are at risk of being pushed into absolute poverty. Malnutrition in Baringo, is currently classed by the World Food Programme as ‘very critical’ and our local staff report that some families they work with are surviving on just one meal a day.


    Beneficiaries will be poor households living in Embu, Nakuru and Baringo counties. The majority of members will be female, have only a primary level of education and will be affected by the current drought.

    The children of the members will benefit from increased household income; our experience shows that one of the first changes children experience is that they are able to go to school. Others in the community will benefit from employment at the small businesses of members.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Five Talents has worked with savings, loans and training programmes in marginalised communities in Kenya for over a decade. Whilst many humanitarian agencies are currently dealing with the emergency response, many will leave once the crisis ends. We already have programmes in Embu and Nakuru meaning our staff are trusted by these communities and know them well.

    This experience and our commitment to long-term development that will puts us in the best place to support these 6,700 families.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Antony Ngugi

    Antony heads up our Nakuru programme. He has an MBA and brings a wealth of experience into the business training he delivers.

    Mark Mbogo

    Mark is the leader of the programme in Embu. Before his current role, Mark worked in Kitui with drought-affected communities.

    Rachel Lindley

    10+ years’ programme management of microfinance programmes. Will provide oversight, ongoing monitoring, and long-term evaluation of the programme.

Because of the drought, my family were becoming poorer as I could only afford a small amount of seed. I borrowed a loan from my group and purchased seed. My last harvest was six times larger. Now, my three children are in school and I have set some maize aside to help us if there is drought again.

Eunice - a farmer from Nakuru