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.
Stages:
 
Enrollment
attach_money
 
Transfers
check
Completed
Newsfeed > Karisa's Profile
Karisa's family
Karisa
landscapeCountry:
kenya
workOccupation:
Casual labor
workCampaign
Kenya Basic Income
Upcoming Stage
Next Payment
attach_money
 
Follow to be updated on Karisa's next check-in.
 
18th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($23 USD)
access_time 3 months ago
attach_money
 
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
To diversify my income streams, I intend to utilize my transfers this year to invest in acquiring livestock. As the herd expands and multiplies, I will have the option to sell some of the animals, providing funds to address my immediate needs. I am deeply appreciative of the financial assistance provided by the transfers, which has been invaluable in supporting my family during periods of financial hardship.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I engage in various casual jobs, such as house construction, to sustain my livelihood. However, the income from these endeavors is often insufficient, prompting me to rely on financial transfers for additional support. Recently, I allocated $20 towards paying my children's school fees, ensuring their uninterrupted education and preventing them from being sent home. Additionally, I invested $14 in acquiring two hens, a promising venture as they are expected to multiply, providing a potential source of income when sold. Unfortunately, in December, my grandchild fell ill and required hospitalization for a swollen stomach and severe difficulties passing stool, resulting in a medical bill of $34. I also dedicated $20 to purchasing wood and $14 to compensate a mason for repairing my nearly collapsing house, ensuring the safety of my family. I am genuinely grateful for the financial assistance provided through transfers, which has significantly improved my quality of life.
 
14th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($23 USD)
access_time 8 months ago
attach_money
 
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
My most important goal in life is to support the education of my four children until they complete at least college. Two of them graduated from elementary school last year but did not earn sufficient grades to join high school. I planned to enroll them in hairdressing and electrical installation courses as per their preferences, but I have not had the financial means to do so. I am hoping that by next year, I will have saved enough funds to send them to college. To continue supporting them and their two younger siblings, I also intend to expand my livestock-rearing venture as a means of creating wealth. Currently, I have three sheep and seven goats, most of which I acquired through the cash transfers, and I plan to increase the herd.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
During this period, I primarily used the cash transfers to complete my children's house and purchase livestock. My children are getting older, and I feel that it is no longer appropriate for them to share the same house with their mother and me. So, when the transfers started, I saw the opportunity to build them a separate structure. I allocated $30 for additional iron sheets, and I am happy that the house is nearly finished now. I also spent $30 to buy a goat. As the goat reproduces and the herd grows, I can sell them to support the education of my four children. Currently, the casual jobs I find in house construction are quite unreliable, and I can go for an entire month without any work. I used the remaining amount to buy food for my family and settle school fee balances for one of my children, ensuring that he did not miss out on his education.
 
10th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($25 USD)
access_time 1 year ago
attach_money
 
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
Moving forward, my main objective is to build a house for my three children. My primary income source is through casual labor in house construction. However, I face challenges in securing consistent work, often finding jobs for only four days a week. This irregularity poses financial constraints for my family, which has made it challenging for me to construct the house using my earnings. I intend to spend the cash transfers on this goal. Once that is accomplished, my focus will shift toward expanding my herd of five goats. I would have preferred to go for cows instead, but they are relatively expensive. Besides, by leveraging the reproductive capacity of goats, I aim to create a sustainable source of income that will support my family's needs, including education expenses and food.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
Upon receiving the cash transfer, my immediate concern was to address the pressing issue of lack of food in my household. I purchased maize flour amounting to $11, which would sustain my family for a couple of days. The high cost of food continues to pose a significant challenge. After that, I bought an $8 piece of iron sheet for building a separate house for my three sons. As they grow older, I believe it's important for them to have their own space. To this end, I have already acquired 12 iron sheets for the construction project. However, my goal is to gather a total of 22 iron sheets to complete the house with mud walls and an iron sheet roof. Furthermore, I allocated $15 to pay off outstanding school fees for one of my children who had missed two days of school due to unpaid fees. As a parent, I understand the importance of education and strive to ensure my children can attend school without disruptions.
 
5th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($28 USD)
access_time over 1 year ago
attach_money
 
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
One thing has kept me awake at night and messed with my mental equilibrium over the past few years. My three elderly, adult children frequently spend the night at their grandfather's house because they have nowhere else to sleep. At the end of the previous year, I gradually began to buy iron sheets. I want to scale this up this year by purchasing more iron sheets, building poles, cement, and building stones. This will enable me to construct a sturdy home for my 3 children. Once they have moved in, their bad behavior of requesting temporary accommodation from friends who might be a bad influence on them will come to an end.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
My two-room, mud-walled house does not have enough bedrooms for my family and me, let alone my four grown children. Therefore, they stay at my father's house to sleep. The sleeping arrangements make me uncomfortable as a parent because I prefer to watch over my kids as they sleep. They share a room with kids from the neighborhood, so I worry about how it might affect them. My primary source of income is building latrines, but it is unreliable because few people actually accomplish this. Therefore, when I was accepted into the program, I was happy because I knew that with the money, I would finally realize my ambition of building a house for the kids. I purchased four iron sheets for $37 using the transfers from the previous two months, which I will combine with the other building supplies I purchased with the prior transfers to build a house. I spent $11 on four chickens to raise with the intention of selling some of them later once they had multiplied in order to increase our household income. Additionally, I spent $20 on food for the family.
 
2nd Payment
Transfer Amount
3050 KES ($25 USD)
access_time over 1 year ago
attach_money
 
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
In my opinion, GiveDirectly did a good job giving out unconditional cash transfers to improve the living standards of the poorest individuals in my entire village. I, therefore, do not see anything that GiveDirectly has not done well.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I spent part of my recent transfer on purchasing a piece of ironsheets at KES 700. I am planning to construct a new house in the next six months for my children since we now sleep under one roof. The house is relatively small and they are now grown up I feel it's high time they need privacy. Therefore the plan is to purchase materials every month and I am positive that I will achieve this. Later on, I bought chicken at KES 400 which I am now keeping in my household. I settled for it because I am certain that I will have many of them within a short time. Once they increase in number, I will be able to sell some and cater for household basic needs unlike before whereby I used to struggle a lot since I did not have a stable income. With the remaining amount of money, I decided to buy foodstuffs for my family which took us a week.
 
Initial Payment
Transfer Amount
3050 KES ($25 USD)
access_time over 1 year ago
attach_money
 
Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
I had been looking forward to the day the transfer would be sent since my enrollment. I became impatient and worried at one point because I expected it to come as soon as possible. However, I was caught off guard on the day transfers were sent. I couldn't hide my joy because I was among the successful members of the community. I had to share the same exhilarating experience with the rest of my family. Whenever I see my two hens purchased with the transfer, I always feel happy.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
Because I do not have a formal job, it was difficult for me to raise funds to buy food for my family at first.  I only do casual jobs, which have been scarce in Kenya over the last four months of intense campaigns. To make matters worse, despite the inability to find casual work, food prices have been high. This puts my family, among other low-income families, in a difficult situation. However, courtesy of the transfer, we have seen a significant improvement in our lives because obtaining food has become much easy.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I do not have a formal job, so I rely on part-time work to make ends meet. My wife is also unemployed and just a housewife, so I am considered the breadwinner. My family suffers more due to my inability to earn a decent living and my inability to meet all of their needs. For example, I sometimes find it difficult to obtain food for my family. As a result of the transfer, I chose to spend KES 1,500 on food, KES 800 on two hens, and KES 700 on an iron sheet. It has relieved me of my previous difficulties.
 
Enrolled
access_time 2 years ago
 
What does receiving this money mean to you?
I have never had any source of income for quite too long with a wife and four children to take care of. The only thing I have been doing for a living is casual jobs that are rarely available throughout. My first two sons dropped out of school due to lack of school fees and they're still here at home without any economic involvement. I learnt a big lesson fro that and right now I want to do anything within my power to ensure that the remaining two get to whatever level depending on their ability. Getting this money will enable me to realize that dream and for sure it will be unmatched joy when I accomplish that. Currently my children are paying school fees of 2500 KES each per academic term. I can comfortably afford this with my transfers
What is the happiest part of your day?
I can't say I'm happy because I'm completely broke most of the time. This is because the types of casual jobs I depend on are not available throughout. However, I have felt a lot of joy since I heard of GiveDirectly's plan to work in our village. Even though I have not yet qualified, I have hopes of benefitting from this project that has potential to change my life completely. I'm already happy at that prospect.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
It's always so sad when a parent is not able to provide the most basic of all needs which is food effectively! It always pains me a lot to to be completely out of cash when there's an emergency that requires money like medical one, or even being unable to provide food for your family regularly. All these stem from lack of a reliable source of income as I only have casual jobs to depend on.