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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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Enrollment
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Completed
Newsfeed > Esther's Profile
Esther's family
Esther
landscapeCountry:
kenya
workOccupation:
Raising livestock
faceAge:
57
workCampaign
Kenya Large Transfer
There will be no further updates from this completed recipient.
3rd Payment
Transfer Amount
45000 KES ($276 USD)
access_time 30 days ago
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How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
In the coming year and beyond, I intend to initiate a kiosk business, recognizing a valuable opportunity within my community. Observing my fellow villagers travel a considerable distance for their daily household items highlights the potential demand for a local store. To kickstart this venture, I am considering obtaining a loan from the table banking group I am a part of, utilizing the funds as initial capital. Apart from holding a promise of becoming an additional source of income for my family, this business also aims to contribute to the convenience and well-being of our community by addressing their daily needs. I am hopeful for the growth and success of this initiative.
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
In my view, GD has made a positive impact by providing us with a generous cash transfer. This has significantly improved the quality of my life, bringing joy and happiness. Their support has allowed me to address immediate needs and envision a more secure future. Specifically, the transfer played a crucial role in financing my children's education, a concern that has been troubling me. Previously, I had been relying on selling goats to cover the fees, and GD's assistance has saved me the remaining 10, allowing my goat herd to reproduce faster. I am confident that by the third term of this year, I will have enough to pay for that term's fees. Heartfelt thanks to GD for their support.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I depend on subsistence farming and livestock keeping to support my family. However, the persistent drought in our area for the last three years has severely affected farm activities. This has forced me to sell goats to cover my three children's education expenses—one in tertiary and two in secondary education—as well as meet our daily needs. Unfortunately, this prolonged situation has significantly reduced the size of my herd over time, going from as many as 30 to now only 10 goats. The transfer has been a significant help. I allocated $400 to pay my children's school fees, alleviating the stress that I had and ensuring they could concentrate on their studies without disruption. Additionally, the festive season became more joyful as I used the remaining funds to buy special food items, making our Christmas celebration more delightful. I am truly grateful for the support.
 
2nd Payment
Transfer Amount
45000 KES ($295 USD)
access_time 3 months ago
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How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
In the coming year and beyond, my aim is to enhance and diversify my subsistence farming endeavors. I plan to broaden the range of crops I cultivate, aiming for a better yield and minimizing the risks associated with weather fluctuations. Concurrently, I operate a herbal business where I source herbs from the surrounding forest and offer them to the community for treating various conditions. The income generated from this herbal venture will play a pivotal role in bolstering my farming activities. This dual approach not only ensures a more resilient and productive agricultural practice but also establishes a symbiotic relationship between my herbal business and farming aspirations, contributing to the overall improvement of my livelihood.
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
GiveDirectly stands out among other non-governmental organizations we've encountered, and I must say it's doing an exceptional job. What sets it apart is the unique approach of providing us the freedom to decide how to spend the money we receive, which is unlike any other organization. This autonomy has made a significant difference in our lives, allowing us to make choices that best suit our individual needs and circumstances. Providing additional guidance on financial literacy and sustainable investment options could enhance the long-term impact of the support they provide, ensuring recipients are equipped to make informed decisions for their future.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
Securing enough water daily has been a constant struggle in our community, even with pipes installed up to our doorsteps. The high demand has led to water rationing, with our region getting water only on Mondays. Lacking sufficient reservoirs, we often resort to fetching from a distant river. To address this, I spent $225 of the second transfer on a 3000-liter water tank, greatly improving our water access. Additionally, I invested $112 in barbed wire and 2 chain links to fence around our field. Purchasing a $43 sack of maize has sustained my family of five, supporting us beyond subsistence farming and casual labor that I initially relied on. With the remaining amount, I allocated $20 for personal shopping, splitting it between my husband and me. Recognizing the upcoming needs of my three children in college and secondary school reporting in early January, I decided to save the remaining $50 to cover their transport costs when they return to school. This support from GiveDirectly has not only addressed immediate needs but also enhanced our overall well-being, and I am sincerely grateful.
 
Initial Payment
Transfer Amount
20000 KES ($136 USD)
access_time 5 months ago
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Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
I was overjoyed when I received the first unconditional cash transfer from GiveDirectly. At that moment, I was attending a church meeting and had to silence my phone to avoid disrupting the proceedings. However, my curiosity got the best of me, and I could not resist checking the message. To my delight, it confirmed the arrival of the first transfer. That evening, when I returned home, I excitedly shared the news with my spouse and children, who were equally happy. Together, we reaffirmed our plans and wasted no time putting the funds to use, starting the very next day after collecting from the shopping center.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
The biggest difference in my daily life is the abundance of food since receiving the initial transfer. In the past, we consumed whatever food was available, without considering whether it constituted a balanced diet or not. Thanks to this support, I managed to obtain a sufficient supply of maize and have been able to purchase various groceries with the daily income I earned from selling herbal medicines. This has entirely replaced our reliance on potatoes, and now my family and I can enjoy more than one meal a day.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
After receiving the first cash transfer from GiveDirectly, I was keen to make some changes, especially, on the priority list that we had drafted with my family. I spent $100 to purchase two sacks of maize, which would serve as food for my family of five. With my children on a holiday break, I decided to save $90 to ensure I could cover their school fees on the opening date. The remaining $10 came in handy for acquiring other household goods that were missing from my house. My main source of income has been selling herbal medicines harvested from the indigenous forest in our area. Even though we have been grappling with a severe drought, farming has been a viable alternative. During good seasons, it allows me to earn a decent income, especially when I can set aside some of the surplus produce for food.
 
Enrolled
access_time 8 months ago
 
What do you plan to do with the cash transfer?
This money is coming hot on the heels of the unprecedented hardship of the high cost of living that we have ever faced. The elephant in the room is the never-unending problem of raising school fees. We want the best for our children, to attain the best life and improve their living standards and not go through what we underwent and still undergoing. It is against this backdrop that we intend to use the transfers to pay for school fees for our children, we have had a sit-down and came up with a budget, and $ 400 will be used to settle school fees, and the rest of the money to purchase a water tank and foodstuffs respectively. We are so happy about the transfer as it is a major blessing to our lives. We are forever grateful
What is the happiest part of your day?
Sometimes in May, we received some rainfall that made life a little easy. We had had a persistent drought that had ravaged crops and vegetation cover, the vegetation cover had significantly reduced and the livestock had borne the greatest brunt after 3 failed rain seasons. We were also forced to trek for long distances in search of water. We were overjoyed and had reprieve unlike in the past. Although the dry season has crept back at least it has not become severe like in the past before the onset of rains.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
We struggle to make ends meet but it is a tall order, every day we are faced with numerous challenges and a difficult environment of biting drought, our area is arid and bare. We are peasant farmers and the little we get is hardly enough to cover our daily needs as well as raise school fees for our 3 children, 2 are in secondary school and 1 is in college. Every year we require more than @1000 for school fees, we have sold almost our entire livestock just to see our children through their education, other times we have done fundraising and sought bursaries from the government. Whenever school opens we scratch our heads on where to get the more, it seems not to get any better and it worries us alot since there is no light at the end of the tunnel, not to mention the other problem of food insecurity.