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A new approach to serving low-literacy clients

Farmers in rural, agricultural areas of Burundi face a number of challenges unique to their remote location, including limited access to educational opportunities and financial exclusion:

40 percent of Burundian adults living in rural areas qualify as “illiterate*”[1]

5.3 percent of Burundian farmers hold an account with a formal financial institution[2]

Yet it is precisely among underserved communities that Turame Community Finance, HOPE’s microfinance institution in Burundi, seeks to work. Clients living in rural villages hold over 90 percent of Turame’s current outstanding loans.

Unlike a traditional bank, however, Turame’s mission goes beyond financial transactions, offering biblically based business training to its clients, and even to those who do not hold an account.

But Turame had a challenge: how to share robust stewardship training with those who may not only be accessing financial services for the first time, but may also have limited reading skills.

Staff from Turame practice their lessons during a training.

Enter: the flipbook.

Originally created and generously shared with HOPE by VisionFund International (the microfinance division of World Vision), the flipbook is a poster-sized, ringed booklet designed specifically for oral-preference learners.

Over the course of four sessions, the flipbook covers four practical lessons on Christ-centered stewardship. Each interactive, story-based message follows two characters as they navigate decisions about borrowing wisely—repayment, saving for emergencies, utilizing loans for their intended purpose, and planning for the future.

While a trainer (seen praticing in these pictures) reads the scenarios and facilitates discussion based on the questions written in the script on one side of the book, participants listen, respond to questions, and engage with the illustrations visually conveying the lesson on the other side of the book.

After translating and adapting the flipbook so that it reflects HOPE’s Christ-centered mission and is relevant to Burundian culture, Turame will conduct a pilot of this new resource in October.

“The flipbook training aligns with Turame’s vision and mission because it helps us invest in the families of underserved communities who wouldn’t otherwise have access to training,” notes Alex Bizindavyi, Turame’s operations manager. “It will also help us deliver God’s Word and proclaim the Gospel in practical ways.”

As the flipbook pilot has launched, will you pray with us for the leaders and clients of Turame?

  • Pray for Turame staff and team members as they receive training on how to use the flipbook and serve clients by leading the lessons.
  • Ask the Lord to encourage the clients participating in this pilot training, especially those who may have experienced predatory lending or who are considering borrowing for the first time. Ask that they would hear God’s voice of wisdom through the lessons and discussion.
  • Praise God for the generosity of VisionFund International and their willingness to share this resource with HOPE so openhandedly.

To continue praying with us for this and other initiatives, sign up for HOPE’s monthly prayer update

*UNESCO defines adult illiteracy as “the percentage of the population aged 15 years and over who cannot both read and write with understanding a short simple statement on his/her everyday life.”

[1] http://www.gpfi.org/publications/use-financial-inclusion-data-country-case-study-burundi

[2] http://www.gpfi.org/publications/use-financial-inclusion-data-country-case-study-burundi



As Christ’s followers responding to His great love, HOPE International seeks physical, social, spiritual, and personal restoration in places of brokenness. Through Christ-centered economic development, we empower men and women to strengthen their families, build their businesses, and unleash their dreams.

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