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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.
Newsfeed > Lydia's Profile
Lydia's family
Subsistence farming
Kenya Large Transfer
There will be no further updates from this completed recipient.
2nd Payment
Transfer Amount
55000 KES ($397 USD)
access_time 9 months ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
When my parents and only brother passed away 10 years ago, I inherited their farm since I had already separated from my then-husband. I have since been raising my children single-handedly through maize farming, although on a small scale. Since I am guarding my parental land, I cannot dare move out to attend to other businesses but rather continue farming on this land. I plan on cultivating all this 3 acre piece of land, as I hope to get assistance from my son, who is a bodaboda rider in Kilifi, as well as the profits from the maize sales to purchase fertilizers and seedlings to sow on this land.
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
Finances make something impossible possible. For instance, I understand that without cash, one cannot move a thing, let's say an investment. I am glad that GiveDirectly has made life easier in the community by uplifting lives through unconditional cash transfers. Many families have acquired food as well as assets. I therefore wish the organization would expand this to other parts of the country.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
How do you feel seeing your child at home while their peers are at school studying? When my daughter in grade 9 was sent out of school because of $97.50 in arrears, I almost went into depression. I am happy GiveDirectly came to my rescue, for I used $50 to clear part of the school fee arrears, and she was able to get back to school. I am raising my children single-handedly after we separated with my husband and sadly lost my parents and only brother 10 years ago. I often depend on maize and cowpea farming to earn a living. However, the climatic conditions have been unfavorable, for it has been over 3 years without any harvest. I also spent $100 on connecting water to my compound, saved $300 to renovate my house, and spent the rest on food for my family of 2. I am now happy that my family is food-secure and that my child is doing well in school.
Initial Payment
Transfer Amount
55000 KES ($423 USD)
access_time 12 months ago
Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
I am a widow, and all through, I have been struggling to support my two children. When I was enrolled in the program, I was optimistic that my condition would improve. As a result, I had been anticipating the transfer date eagerly. That evening, we attended a burial for one of my neighbor's children. I was pleased as soon as I received my transfer. I knew I would be able to accomplish my goals. I had a daughter, Prisca, who was to join form one, but I could not afford it. Because I had never received such assistance, I am always happy anytime I recall the day.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
After receiving my first transfer, I experienced two positive changes in my life. First, I succeeded in taking my daughter to secondary school. Despite my wish to enroll her, it was tough for me because I did not have money. She would still be at home if I did not receive the transfer. Secondly, I was able to apply for municipal water. As soon as it is fixed, I will have a water supply at my home. As a result, I will be relieved of the stress of traveling a considerable distance to fetch water. We had been suffering from water scarcity due to drought, having to go a significant distance to collect water.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
Since I had a daughter who was to join secondary school, I prioritized spending $80 for the admission of my daughter who joined Day school. Because we have been suffering from a shortage of water, I spent $25 on application and fixing for water supply in my home. I am hoping it will begin to function well soon. With the transfer, I have been using the balance on food because we experience a scarce food supply in the area, and the rest I shall use to buy goats. As my flock increases, I will raise additional money for my family's support.
access_time 1 year ago
What do you plan to do with the cash transfer?
What a sigh of relief after learning GiveDirectly has come to our village! For a long time, I have been buying water from my neighbor which is very costly, approximately $10 per month. Since I do not have money to pay this daily, I have a huge debt pending clearing. With this money, I plan to install some water pipes that will enable me to have a tap within my compound. This will ensure water scarcity is a problem of the past and I will no longer spend money to buy water. To ensure this comes to reality, I plan to spend $200 of my money. The remaining amount will help me to repair my house which is braving the strong wind in our area, I plan to spend $400 on this. In addition, I will support my daughter who is about to join form one this year. Hence, this is generally what receiving this money means to me.
What is the happiest part of your day?
In December, I was sick and could not perform any work. This forced my daughter to assume all the household chores a situation that stressed me a lot because seeing my young daughter doing heavy duties never pleased me. Fortunately, my son sent me $5 which facilitated me to seek proper medication from the nearby health center. I am currently quite okay and I have fully returned to performing my duties as a mother. Therefore, I consider my improved health as what has brought me joy.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
Subsistence farming which is my main source of livelihood has been greatly affected by the prolonged drought that we have experienced for 3 consecutive seasons now. This has compelled me to depend on my son who is a casual laborer to send us some cash. Since the support I get from him is inconsistent, sometimes I am forced to seek help from my neighbor, a situation that has exposed me as a beggar. What a life! Since meeting the needs of my family is a challenge due to the financial crisis, I, therefore, consider this to be the main challenge that I am currently facing.