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 > Changawa's Profile
Changawa's family
Casual labor
Kenya Basic Income
Upcoming Stage
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14th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($23 USD)
access_time 2 months ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
We currently live in a dilapidated grass-thatched house that is also too small to comfortably accommodate my large family which consists of 9 children, 7 of whom are still under our care. The house leaks which makes rainy seasons the most dreadful time for my family as we have to be strategic and creative to keep ourselves and our valuable items dry. Besides this, we have to sleep in the same room with 3 of the children while the older ones have to sleep in a borrowed house at the neighbor's. It is risky for them to walk each night to the neighbour's compound, but even more embarrassing. The status of the house is also not very appealing and comes with its own kind of shame as it is not many that still live in grass-thatched houses in this century, so moving to new status by constructing an iron-roofed house would be a great achievement for my family. We are working together with my spouse who is also a Give Directly beneficiary to achieve this goal as soon as possible by bringing together our monthly transfers and purchasing construction materials in bits as we are not able to raise enough money for a one time purchase. If we save the money, we may be forced to spend it in times of an emergency hence the reason we opt to purchase the materials.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
The past 3 months, we were at the climax of a famine period that lasted over a year due to failed rains for three consecutive seasons. During this period, my transfers played a massive role in keeping my huge family afloat and away from hunger. If we were to rely on my charcoal making and selling business alone, my family would have seen the worst of the dreadful season. These transfers were instrumental in providing basic needs for the family, taking care of my children's school needs hence ensuring they consistently stayed in school and also helping to purchase quality farm inputs and hiring labour. It is through these transfers that we were able to realize a bumper harvest as we were able to cultivate a bigger portion of land that we could have managed on our own. This month of September however, I purchased a goat to fulfil a promise I made to ensure a year does not end without me investing part of the transfer in any project, preferably long term.
10th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($25 USD)
access_time 7 months ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
In the coming years, I would like to obtain a new house in place of the current one, which is currently damaged. During the rainy season, the space becomes damp and uninhabitable. My priority is to construct another structure. Although I would ideally prefer a brick house, given my financial situation, I plan to build a mud-walled structure with an iron sheet roof. This will provide a safer and more comfortable living environment for my family that the current shelter.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
Typically, I rely on burning charcoal as a means to support my family, but the income barely covers the essential needs. Receiving the cash transfer brought great relief and joy to me. It enabled me to address some pressing issues that were affecting my family. One of them was the unpaid tuition fees for my seven children, which had resulted in their absence from school for three days. With the cash transfer, I was able to allocate $20 to settle the debt, allowing my children to happily resume their classes. Another issue was the lack of food in our household. We had gone without food for two days, and the cash transfer came just in time. I used the remaining amount to purchase food, which has sustained my family up to this point. It was a tremendous help in ensuring that my children had enough to eat. However, with the onset of the rainy season, I have shifted my focus to farm work. Farming provides an alternative source of income and sustenance for my family. I understand the importance of adapting to different circumstances to meet our needs.  
6th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($28 USD)
access_time 10 months ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
The two biggest issues I'm now facing and hope to resolve by the end of the year are food insecurity and a nicer home. I live in a one-room, mud-walled house with grass thatch roof. Due to the current drought, there is a current shortage of grass, and the few that are available are exceedingly expensive, just like food. I used to be able to sell charcoal for less money because it was my only source of income. I won't be eager to sell them now that I have the monthly funds as extra income. I'll be transporting them out from the village to other markets where the prices are good and burning them in large quantities instead. While the monthly transfers will mostly be used to pay for food and school expenditures, the earnings I will receive from the charcoal will be utilized to support the construction of a new house.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
We have experienced food insecurity as a result of the protracted drought, and prior to the transfers, we could only afford one meal each day. Due to the majority of individuals doing it, the charcoal I burn for sale is not now profitable. In addition, few individuals can afford charcoal in the current time of economic crisis, as a result, it is difficult for me to pay for enough food for my family and my children's school expenses. I spent $68 of the transfers from the previous three months on food to address the food shortage, leaving the kids with a $34 school arrears balance. I cleared the arrears with my most recent move, and I'm relieved that they didn't start the current academic year with any debts that were carried over from the prior one.
2nd Payment
Transfer Amount
3050 KES ($25 USD)
access_time 1 year ago
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
As a beneficiary of GiveDirectly's transfer, I bear testimony that it is effective in all manner of its operation. Through the unconditional cash transfer, I have been able to acquire food as well as pay my children's school fees. It is because We are not restricted on how to spend my transfer. It gives money that has been helpful to all who were enrolled in the program from my community. Consequently, the challenges that we previously had has drastically gone down. So far, I have not witnessed what it does not do well.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I had debts before receiving my most recent transfer. There were fee arrears at school that needed payment. Furthermore, due to a lack of a casual job to supplement my income, I borrowed some food from the shop and found it hard to repay. This is because I am the sole breadwinner in a family of eleven. As a result, I used $10 from the transfer to pay for my two school-aged children's school fees. I also paid off a $10 debt and used the remainder to buy food for my family. We had no food, and my children were at home because they had been sent to collect fees.
Initial Payment
Transfer Amount
1200 KES ($10 USD)
access_time over 1 year ago
Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
Immediately I realized that I had received my transfer, and unexplained joy filled my heart. At first, I thought I was daydreaming because I least expected any money at that point. I was only hoping to sell the charcoal I had to raise money for buying food for my children. However, confirming that receipt then, restored my hope that all is well with me. I could gladly be able to buy food for my children.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
From the time I received my transfer, the biggest difference in my life is being in a position to pay school fees for my children. I feel delighted to see them focus on their studies with minimal disturbances. It has therefore given me an easier time concentrating on raising money for food. It has brought a positive change in my life and I am appreciative of GiveDirectly.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
Before the transfer, I had no money for buying food as well as paying school fees for my two school-going children. As soon as I received my recent transfer, I spent KES 500 on paying school fees for my two children. I am so happy that they can proceed well with their studies. In addition, I used KES 700 on buying a family for my family of 4 members. Since then, life has been a little bit better because the little cash I can raise from the selling of charcoal greatly helps me in acquiring food for the family.
access_time over 1 year ago
What does receiving this money mean to you?
My house is just one room and it's condition is not good. The roof is grass thatched and the mud walls are in a sorry state. My strategy to ensure that I build a decent one bedroom house is to start by investing in goat farming. In a few years time when they will have multiplied, I can start it's construction. The estimate cost for the house is 70,000 KES. For the first transfer, I will clear school fees arrears of 1,200 KES and then start buying goats from the second transfer.
What is the happiest part of your day?
Two months ago, I bought a goat from my savings and I am glad that my herd is growing. I now have two goats together with one kid. I was more excited when Give Directly started working in this area because I have a desire to increase the goats more and more from the transfers.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
Raising up my 9 children is very tough. This is because I depend on selling charcoal to get money. This business fetches very little compared to the many needs required by the family. School fees, food , clothing and shelter are my biggest challenges. I currently have 4 children who do not attend school due to lack of school fees. This is so stressful.