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.
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Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
It was around 9 in the morning when I was at my farm fetching firewood when my cell phone started ringing so loudly. I definitely there was a new message. Without wasting even a second, I decided to check its content since I wasn't expecting to hear from anyone. Upon checking, I realized that it was an Mpesa message from GiveDirectly, I felt so happy and blessing for receiving such a precious gift.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
The biggest difference in my daily life is that through the transfers, I managed to clear fees for my son who is in university. Being a widow has been easy because I have been solely depending on the casual jobs like burning and selling charcoal whereby in a day I have been earning KES 100. This was not even enough for the family's daily bread. Therefore his education journey has been full of ups and downs and most of the time we used to seek assistance from the well-wishers and even the government aid which was not a guarantee. In most of the time, he used to skip some exams in some semester and a result of the accumulated fees. The good thing with my sin he was always focused and this situation never demoralized him at all. I thank God GiveDirectly came into my life at the right time when we needed help the most. At least he is now studying comfortably with fewer disturbances and hoping to sit for his final exam next year.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I spent part of my first transfer on buying several building materials such as iron sheets, building poles, nails, and timber. This was for the construction of a new house since the initial one was in critical condition and almost collapsing. In addition to that, I paid school fees for my son who on his third year in university. Also with the remaining amount of money, I bought enough foodstuffs for my family and some other household items such as plastic chairs.
access_time 3 months ago
What does receiving this money mean to you?
Receiving this money means a bright future for my son who is now a third-year student at the university. With my efforts of selling fried dough foods plus charcoal burning, it has never been enough. This has forced me to visit different government offices in search of bursaries to ensure my son's education is not interfered with. Since only 1 year is remaining to complete his 4 years, my plan once I receive this money is to use the first transfer to clear some fee arrears and also to start the fourth year's fee. This will enable him to settle in school and learn smoothly. On the other hand, I will use part of the second transfer ($200) to finish my house which is at its superstructure level and the remaining amount will aid in buying 2 indigenous dairy cows to act as my long-term investment project.
What is the happiest part of your day?
My business requires me to move around the village in search of my customers. This means spending a better part of my morning hours doing this. When it reaches in the afternoon, I get time to relax and take my first meal for the day. This is the moment when I get the feeling of happiness because I will have gotten some money for my meals and also sending some cents to my son as pocket money. Hence afternoon is the happiest part of my day.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
The lack of a reliable source of income is the biggest hardship that I have ever faced in my life. Imagine being a widow with no stable business yet I have a son in college! It's a very stressful moment for me. This situation has forced me to visit many offices in search of help and at some point, I feel like a burden to the well-wishers. I am now a happy person after knowing that, my son will complete his studies with ease, courtesy of GiveDirectly.