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 > Esther's Profile
Esther's family
Small business
Kenya Basic Income
Upcoming Stage
Next Payment
Follow to be updated on Esther's next check-in.
14th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($24 USD)
access_time 14 days ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
Our current house is deteriorating rapidly, and I'm worried that it might collapse soon, especially as the roof is almost caving in. My husband has not been able to fund the construction of a new house because he has not gotten many construction jobs lately, so his earnings are unpredictable. Moreover, with three children in primary school and two in college, financing a new house has been challenging, given the expenses for their tuition and food. Fortunately, this planting season provided us with a good maize harvest, which I'm confident will eliminate our food concerns for the next few months. I plan to use this opportunity to support the construction of a new three-room house, made of iron sheets and mud walls. I hope that the cash transfers and the income my husband earns from construction work will be sufficient to complete the house.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I have three school-going children, two in grade eight and one in sixth grade. Every time I receive the fund transfers, my priority is paying their school tuition to ensure they can continue their studies without interruption. My husband is usually their primary provider, but his income from house construction is unpredictable because there is not much demand for construction work in my village. This is why I also contribute to cover our family's expenses. Additionally, I have two sons in college who occasionally run out of pocket money, so I feel it's my responsibility as a parent to support them when I can. During this round of transfers, I used $79 to pay for my children's tuition, and I am relieved that they can continue their studies without any issues. Also, since we recently harvested maize and have enough food for the next few months, I decided to prioritize my children's education. I also purchased two hens for $10 to start a small poultry-keeping venture and accumulate wealth through livestock rearing. Additionally, I bought two pieces of iron sheets for $13, which I intend to use in building a completely new house since our current one is in poor condition.
9th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($25 USD)
access_time 5 months ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
With the long-awaited arrival of the rains, I plan to invest a portion of my transfers into farming food crops, which will provide me with ample food and supplies to sell in the market. This initial investment will also enable me to delve into the livestock industry, which has the potential to yield significant profits. My goal is to expand my current herd and sell the animals in the market, using the proceeds to attend to my personal needs. Ultimately, by the end of the year, I hope to have a substantial herd of livestock grazing on my farm, bolstering my wealth creation efforts.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
At the end of March, my children in class eight and class six were sent home from school due to unpaid fees. This put me in a stressful situation since I couldn't afford to pay the arrears needed for them to return to school and sit for their end-of-term exams. As casual laborers, my husband and I earn very little from our jobs - I sell charcoal, while he constructs mud houses. After a week of my children staying at home, I received my April transfers and spent $15 to pay off the school fees arrears so they could go back to school. In addition, I spent $10 to prepare my land for agriculture since we are now receiving heavy rainfall after a long period of dry conditions. I am optimistic about the upcoming harvest, which will provide food for my family and save us money on expensive store-bought food. Finally, I spent $9 on buying food, including two packets of 2 kg maize flour, 1 kg of beans, and a half kg of sugar, which was enough for my family for a week. I am extremely grateful for the financial assistance of the monthly stipends, which have allowed us to take care of our basic needs that we couldn't meet before.
6th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($28 USD)
access_time 8 months ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
I currently have two major objectives that I want to accomplish, first, I have three children in school that I need to ensure their studies are not interrupted for lack of fees. I am planning to pay for them on time every month and ensure that they excel in their studies. Secondly, my living house is in a bad shape, the roof is old and dilapidated. I rely on my husband's little earnings from casual construction jobs, and we couldn't save enough to buy building materials to rebuild the house. I am currently planning to buy at least 1 iron sheet every month until I have enough to facilitate the renovation.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
Before joining the GiveDirectly program, I faced numerous difficulties. More often, it was hectic and stressful to raise money for my children's meals and school fees since I have no regular source of income. Over the past three months, I have felt significantly less stressed than I was. Transfers have made it much easier for me to cover my children's tuition. I had also been residing in a house that was in apathetic condition. Its iron roof is old and rusty, and when it rains, we are disturbed to get a safe corner since it heavily leaks. I had been able to purchase a single iron sheet each month to replace the roof of my house. To start a family project, I spent $5 from my most recent transfer on a hen, and I am glad I have begun poultry farming. Later, I will sell them to raise cash for a goat purchase.
2nd Payment
Transfer Amount
3050 KES ($25 USD)
access_time 12 months ago
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
In my opinion GiveDirectly does very well by giving cash as a form of aid. This has given us the liberty to choose how to spend the money and everyone has been made free to spend the money in ways they think are the best for them. To me, this money has been such a relief at a time that we are facing prolonged droughts in our area.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
The money came at a time that my children had been sent home for school fees. I therefore gave each one of them $3 to go clear the fee that was required. I shared another $10 among my two children as pocket money. The two children are in their tertiary level of education. The remaining $10 was used to buy food and other basic household needs for the family. I am a mother of five and I have been engaging in charcoal selling business to earn a living. My husband too works at a construction company as a casual and the amount of money that we make is hardly enough to make ends meet. I am so grateful to GiveDirectly for having me as one of the beneficiaries. It has brought so much relief at a time that we are dealing with prolonged droughts and famine within our area. It is through GiveDirectly transfers that we are able to pay school fees for our children in a much more comfortable way than we have been able to do before.
Initial Payment
Transfer Amount
1200 KES ($10 USD)
access_time 1 year ago
Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
At around 8 pm while I was preparing to go to bed, I got a message notification but I did not bother to check. I thought it was a message from Safaricom because it is not common to receive messages at night. When I checked it in the morning I was excited to notice that I had received the money. It was such a joyous moment.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
Having been able to pay for my children's school fees is the biggest difference in my daily life. I did not have peace for the four days they had stayed at home. I tried borrowing some money from friends to settle the arrears so that they could be allowed in school but all was in vain. I had lost of taking them back to school any time soon because nothing was coming forth despite the efforts. Without the transfers, I would not have been able to take them back to school. I owe this to GiveDirectly.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
3 of my children who are in primary school had stayed home for some days as a result of being sent away due to the school fees arrears from the previous term. Therefore, I paid 600 KES to reduce the fee arrears. They still owe the school 300 KES which I know I will be able to pay soon with the next transfer. The rest of the money (550 KES) I spent on food for my family. I burn charcoal for sale as my main source of income but I earn a little from it and at that time we had nothing at all to pay the fees arrears.
access_time over 1 year ago
What does receiving this money mean to you?
Receiving this money from GiveDirectly means quality education for my children. Two of my children are planning to join secondary school and two are awaiting to join college. My husband's casual job in town is not paying well given that be only makes KES 500 a day and cannot guarantee education of my children. All this will cost me a total of KES 60,000 and will ensure that my children get quality education. I will use the balance to buy food for my family.
What is the happiest part of your day?
I have been going through a lot of struggles in life especially going without food for the whole day. Putting a meal on the table makes me happy.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
Lack of a reliable source of income to sustain my family of six is the biggest challenge I am currently facing. This has rendered me unable to educate my children something really paining me.