GDLive Newsfeed
We check in with people at each stage of the cash transfer process to see how things are going. Take a look at some of their stories as they appear here in real-time. Learn more about how recipients opt in to share their stories.
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Newsfeed > Mariam's Profile
Mariam's family
Mariam
landscapeCountry:
kenya
workOccupation:
Casual labor
workCampaign
Kenya Basic Income
Upcoming Stage
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26th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($26 USD)
access_time 4 months ago
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How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
I'm a single parent and bear the responsibility of raising my five children without a reliable source of income. My children are still young and in lower levels of education, though some will soon be joining high school. Looking at my financial status, it might be difficult for me to raise fees when the time comes for them to join high school. To prepare for this, I plan to buy more livestock, particularly goats so that as they multiply, I can sell them to raise the fees for my children. With this plan, I am confident that my children's future is secure and they will be able to continue with their studies, despite my financial predicament. Currently, I have seven goats, and I expect their number to increase in the near future.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
As a single parent of five children, I have been raising them alone while doing some menial jobs as well as doing subsistence farming to make ends meet. However, raising enough money for school fees has been a constant struggle as I don't have a stable source of income. I am grateful for GiveDirectly's monthly transfers, which have allowed me to keep my children in school. With my most recent transfer, I was able to pay $10 towards their school fees and reduce the outstanding arrears. This has given me peace of mind and allowed me to easily plan for the next term's fees. Furthermore, I have always wanted to keep livestock, especially goats and cows, to secure my children's education. I am worried that I may not be able to save enough money when they join high school; hence, the livestock will help me with this. Thus from the recent transfer, I am glad that I was able to buy three goats for $90, increasing my herd to seven. I plan to let them multiply and sell them in case of financial need, and also exchange them for a cow, hence increasing my living assets. Finally, I spent the remaining amount on buying foodstuffs such as sugar and vegetables, as well as some toiletries that were needed in my household.
 
22nd Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($23 USD)
access_time 8 months ago
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How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
At present, I possess six goats. My intention is to acquire an additional goat and then trade the total of seven goats for a bull. The bull will play a crucial role in preparing my land for planting during the rainy season. Furthermore, it will provide an opportunity for me to generate income by offering plowing services to others. The financial transfers have brought immense joy into my life, uplifting my circumstances.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
Following the tragic passing of my husband, I have shouldered the responsibility of raising six children as a single parent. My primary source of income is through casual labor, particularly the sale of charcoal. Providing meals for my family of six and meeting their other needs, including education, has been a significant challenge. I allocated $20 to settle a school fee debt that had resulted in my children being sent home and missing three days of classes. I am relieved that they were able to sit for their end-of-term exams. Additionally, I invested $55 in the purchase of two goats, envisioning them as a future source of income when they multiply, allowing me to address my family's needs. To prevent my family from going to bed hungry, I also spent $29 on purchasing food. The ongoing financial support from the transfer has been invaluable in enabling me to care for my family amidst the hardships of generating limited income from selling charcoal. I am profoundly grateful for this assistance.
 
18th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($24 USD)
access_time 12 months ago
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How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
My objective for the near future and beyond is to achieve financial stability. It pains me deeply whenever I find myself unable to fulfill my children's basic necessities. This circumstance has sparked a strong desire within me to invest a portion of my income in purchasing goats. My plan is to let them multiply, and subsequently, I will sell some of them to acquire a dairy cow. The income generated from selling milk from the cow will provide us with a substantial amount of money to cover our daily expenses and support my family's needs.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
As a widow responsible for my five children, I am the sole breadwinner in our household. To make ends meet, I engage in the laborious task of digging out tree stumps, converting them into charcoal, and selling them in the market. Unfortunately, this venture brings in meager earnings, leading to financial hardships and making it challenging to fulfill our basic needs. Recently, my children faced a difficult situation when they were sent home from school due to unpaid fees. Regrettably, I didn't have the funds to cover their education expenses, resulting in them staying home for a week. Despite my attempts to sweet talk the teachers and promise payment once my transfers arrived, my pleas fell on deaf ears. Thankfully, after receiving the July transfers, I was able to partially pay $10 of the $20 owed to the school, allowing my children to return to school and continue their education. To plan for future emergencies, I invested $15 in purchasing a young goat, which I see as a potential source of income. If needed, I can sell the goat to cover my children's school fees. With the remaining $9 from the transfers, I purchased food, ensuring that we didn't go hungry during this challenging time. I am relieved and grateful that the money from the transfers helped us through this difficult period and ensured that my children didn't miss any meals.
 
14th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($26 USD)
access_time over 1 year ago
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How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
When my husband passed away, I took on charcoal burning as a means to raise money and take care of my six children. Through the practice, I make at most $8 after a week, which barely affords food for the entire week. This has made fulfilling other needs like school fees a struggle. With the monthly cash transfers, I plan to invest most of them in goat rearing. By the time my two grade-six sons are joining junior high school, I wish to have accumulated enough wealth through the goats to fund their tuition. 
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
Honestly, the cash transfers have listed some hardships I never thought would be possible to alleviate. Being a widow, raising six children by myself is never easy. However, with the support from Give Directly I can see a beam of hope. Not only has the money helped me to cover basic needs for my family, but it has also allowed me to own livestock. Recently, I mostly spent $45 from the latest two cash transfers to buy three goats. I hope that they will increase in numbers so that I can sell them to raise funds. Also, I used $12 to support the education of five of my children by buying them stationery and paying their tuition fees. The remaining $11 went towards the purchase of food, as my household would constantly run dry, at times forcing us to starve throughout the day. Despite the struggles, am happy that through the financial aid, hunger is less of a problem in my household and my children are mostly in school. 
 
10th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($28 USD)
access_time over 1 year ago
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How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
The care of my six children is entirely my responsibility. Two of the students are in grade six, one is in grade four, another is in grade three, and the other two have not yet started school because they are still young. Since my husband passed away two years ago, I've found it difficult to provide for everyone in my family. I want to increase the number of goats in my herd. This is a long-term investment in the education of my kids. When the time comes, I'll sell some of them and use the proceeds to cover their tuition.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
In my family, I am the only provider of income. After my husband passed away five years ago, I was left to care for my six children on my own. I sell charcoal to make a living as a casual laborer. I find it very difficult to provide for my family's needs because I don't generate many sales. My previous clients prefer to use firewood, which is a cheap and easily accessible fuel source. My kids frequently get sent home from school because they owe a ton in fees. So, in order to keep my kids in school, I paid $5 in school fees when I received my transfer. In addition to paying my tuition, I spent $24 on 12 packets of a two-kilogram supply of maize flour. This will sustain us for a full week while I work to earn money to purchase additional food. Now that my kids are in school and eating well, I feel calm and at peace.
 
6th Payment
Transfer Amount
3050 KES ($26 USD)
access_time almost 2 years ago
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What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
When I got the transfer, I spent KES 2,500 on buying a goat. I do not have any livestock, though I have always wanted to own some. That, in my opinion, is a very viable type of investment. In my community, anyone who owns livestock is considered to have a high social status. As my goat herd grows, I will be able to provide educational support to my children by selling some goats. When GD continues to support me, I see a progressive development in my family in the coming years.
 
2nd Payment
Transfer Amount
3050 KES ($26 USD)
access_time over 2 years ago
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In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the GiveDirectly for helping me. The funds helped me when I was facing serious challenges of providing essential needs (food, medication, and fees) for my family. I would like the organization to focus on timely disbursement of the transfers to prevent further suffering from our end.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
My life as a widow has been very challenging. I am the sole breadwinner of my 6 children. I earn a living by making and selling charcoal. Making the charcoal is very long (3 to 4 days) and tedious with very low income. The demand for charcoal has recently dropped, hence making it difficult to find a potential client. I am forced to buy food on credit, in the event I cannot sell any charcoal. We have frequently slept hungry together with my children due to a lack of money to buy food. The problems I faced forced me to buy a goat worth KES 2500 as an investment for the future. Once it multiplies in number, I will sell some and use the money to educate my children. Besides buying the goat, I spent the remaining amount to buy food for my family after spending 2 days without food surviving on water and wild fruits.
 
Initial Payment
Transfer Amount
1200 KES ($11 USD)
access_time over 2 years ago
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Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
I was on my way to the clinic since I have a small baby who needed urgent medical attention as she had developed a severe cold during the night. While on my way, I met my friend who told me she had received her transfer. I became very anxious and eager. Few meters away from the hospital gate, I heard my phone ringing loudly. When I checked it out, I found out that I had too received my transfer. I was thrilled. After the clinic, I headed straight to the Mpesa and withdrew the money and bought food first.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
The transfer has made a big difference in my life. Being the sole breadwinner in my family, I fully understand what it means to struggle to put food on the table. Receiving the transfer has eased an enormous burden on me and I can smile all the way and look hopefully for a better tomorrow and that my children will finish their education.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
Being the sole breadwinner of my family after my husband’s death, life has not been a bed roses. I currently work on manual jobs like fetching water for other people for pay, cutting wood to make charcoal and selling firewood. The earnings from these jobs are very little to meet all my needs. My children have frequently been sent home due to school fee arrears. Immediately I received my transfer, I spent half of the transfer amounting to KSH 600 to pay off part of the school debt I owed to the school so that my children would go back to school and continue with their learning with no further delays. In addition, I spent the other half in buying food for my family. Being the sole breadwinner, I sometimes lack money to buy food for my children and at this moment it was not any different as I did not have any money. Buying the food was very important to ensure that my family does not starve.
 
Enrolled
access_time over 2 years ago
 
What does receiving this money mean to you?
Imagine sharing a one-bedroom house with my six children for the third year now. This has been a challenge to me as well as my children given that two are now grown ups and I feel ashamed sharing a room with them. The death of my husband four years ago was the genesis of my family's misery. It even worsens whenever it rains because of the leaking roof above. Receiving this money means a new dawn to my family because immediately I receive the GiveDirectly transfer, I will use 20,000KES to build a two-bedroom semi-permanent house for my family. One room will accommodate my two daughters and the other room for my four sons. I will spend a further 5,000KES to buy new iron sheets to renovate the leaking roof of my old house. I will use the balance to educate my children. Doing all this will finally bring joy to my family of seven.
What is the happiest part of your day?
Four months ago, I sold 15 bags of charcoal for 4500KES; I used the money to buy enough food for my family for that particular month and used the balance to pay school fees for my children in primary school.As the sole bread winner of my family I am always feeling happy when my family has enough food and in good health. This motivates me alot and gives me the energy to work extra hard for them.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
Being a widow and at the same time bearing the burden of raising my six children has not been a walk in the park. With my energy-draining charcoal burning occupation, I have been unable to guarantee my family of all the basic needs because I only get peanuts from the sale of charcoal. Moreover, the one-bedroom house which we are living in is in a pathetic condition and unsafe for anyone to sleep inside. The house has also denied me of privacy and reputation in the village and I feel ashamed whenever I get visitors. My four children in primary school lack school fees so most of the time they are sent home. This has made them perform extremely poor in their academics.