An extraordinary day in Uganda ended in the company of Sarah Mutanda, a 23 year old mother of five. She farmed maize and ground-nuts but was introduced to her Village Savings and Loan group four years ago. She was suspicious then of banks - the safety and accessibility of her cash was uppermost in her mind. The charities behind this scheme - CARE International UK and Plan International - gave her faith and belief.
Commercially, she now has a motor-bike she hires out and employs a rider; she still farms but has upped her stock; and her next big plan is a fridge so she can run a cold-drinks business in the village. She is also now the Treasurer of the Group and has both a private and a business account.
She says the whole experience has 'empowered' her - her word, not mine.
One of several people I met today, she seems to capture the good that can be done when a bank, in this case Barclays, joins forces with charities. Billions around the world are 'financially excluded' by their poverty, their gender and their fears. Banking on Change is addressing that and Sarah is a glowing example. I was honoured to spend time with her.