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.
Newsfeed > Irene's Profile
Irene's family
Kenya Large Transfer
There will be no further updates from this completed recipient.
2nd Payment
Transfer Amount
53010 KES ($393 USD)
access_time 8 months ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
An empty hand is not licked. As the saying goes, my wish is to be financially stable so as to assist my husband in raising our family of six. Currently, we solely depend on my husband's plumbing job to earn a living since I had to drop my housekeeping job to attend to my newborn baby. Hopefully, when I regain strength, I plan on enrolling in a hairdressing college so as to fulfill my ambition of being a salonist and therefore earn income to support my family as well. Since we had already agreed with my husband, the plan was that he would pay my school fees once he received his savings from the merry-go-round club he joined. When I complete college, I will be able to start my own salon business at the nearby center. I am hopeful that my family's financial status will be restored once more.
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
Who else gives out unconditional cash transfers without asking for a return? I only know of GiveDirectly. If I had to choose another organization to work with, it would still be GiveDirectly. I am grateful that my life has been uplifted from poverty and that financial crisis is not the norm. From the transfers, the lives of people in the village have changed, as a tremendous amount of change has been felt at the grass-roots level. I now wish they would reach out to other people in extreme poverty.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
As the family grows in number, other utilities need to expand as well. For example, housing and food. My family of six currently lives in a one-room house, and I am worried that our privacy as parents is compromised as the children's intelligence keeps improving. When I received the transfers, I spent $200 on purchasing logs that I am yet to manufacture into timber to construct an additional room to house my children. I was not in a position to accomplish this before because the income my husband earns from the plumbing job is insufficient to cater for all the family's needs except food and school fees. I had to drop the househelp job I previously had to attend to my newborn baby, but hopefully I will resume once I gain strength so as to support my husband in raising the family. Additionally, I spent $40 on goats, $30 on 50kg of maize, and $50 on school fees for my children, who are in pre-primary and grade 1, respectively. As a financial backup plan, I bought 3 chickens for $15 so as to earn income and restore strength to get back on my feet since always borrowing money is demeaning and might as well bring family conflicts. I never believed that I would one day be a beneficiary of such a lovely program that uplifts one from extreme poverty.
Initial Payment
Transfer Amount
55000 KES ($439 USD)
access_time 10 months ago
Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
Around 4 pm, when I was hiding from the oppressive sun and having a sleep, my phone beeped with a message. To see what the message was about, I reached out to take it up off the bed's edge. What an evening! I was shocked to discover that the initial transfer of $550 had been made to my account. I sprung out of bed and danced joyfully after receiving such a sizable sum of money. I was quite grateful to GiveDirectly because it was the first time I had ever received such a sum.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
A $40 monthly wage from babysitting was insufficient to support my family's requirements. As a result, I had to borrow money to cover my children's tuition and had to sleep on the floor because I was living off of scraps. Since receiving the initial transfer, my life has transformed. I was able to pay off my bills and get a decent place to live. I'm also glad since I was able to create a second room for the kids in my house after the transfer empowered me and regained my privacy.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I wasn't feeling at ease while using empty sacks as bedding and slept on the floor. I decided to purchase a contemporary standard bed, a mattress, and two bedsheets after receiving the transfer for $161 and $6, respectively. Right now, I'm grateful that I have a comfortable bed and that I no longer wake up exhausted like I used to. Since it being the holiday season, I also purchased some clothing for my kids for $41. As a result, I added a room to my one-room, mud-walled house using $60. I did this so that my four children wouldn't have to share a room while they slept. No one had any privacy. Since I owed $50 at a merry-go-round from a loan I took out to cover my kids' school expenses. Aside from that, I spent $80 on an Android phone because the one I had was in poor shape. Given its current situation, I was worried that GiveDirectly could call me in vain. Given that it being the holiday season, I utilized some of the remaining funds to buy food for my family in order to give God praise for His protection throughout the year, and I saved the remainder for the family's maintenance.
access_time 1 year ago
What do you plan to do with the cash transfer?
I currently have a single room that has been robbing me off privacy a lot, given that my eldest child is around seven years old. When I get this money, I would like to first extend my house to make it two roomed so that I can have one as my bedroom. As per my rough estimation, it might cost $300 including material and labor cost.Thereafter I will also buy some goats probably two just to try keeping and see if it's a viable way of saving money for my children's education. If this works I will not have to struggle with school fees payment in future. At the moment one goat can cost around $40. The remaining amounts I will safely keep while trying out goat keeping.
What is the happiest part of your day?
I have four children right now. Three of them, first three, are girls with the last one being the only son. I really felt so happy to have had a son this time round because not having one was already taking its toll on our relationship. It traditionally cemented our marriage and also improved love between me and my husband. I gave birth around two months ago but the joy in the family is still obvious and he has even improved his visiting schedules as he stays in Mombasa town.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
Lack of reliable source of income. My husband is a plumber based in Mombasa town, but he gets jobs from a lot of different places within the country. I don't know for a fact how much he makes, he normally sends me between $5 to $7 weekly. Myself I used to take up casual jobs around Matanomanne trading center, but since I delivered my forth born two months ago, I haven't been able to do so for the obvious reasons. The much I get from him isn't enough to pay all family bills and therefore right now my eldest child is out of school for fees areas. She pays $17 per academic term.