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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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Newsfeed > Chengo's Profile
Chengo's family
Small business
Kenya Basic Income
Upcoming Stage
Next Payment
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14th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($27 USD)
access_time 2 months ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
I want to groom my compound with a nice spacious house and more livestock, so as to make it feel more like home. Seeing my family of five members share a one-room structure bothers me so much that I wish to build them a new shelter. Also, the bigger the house, the brighter the compound! Thanks to the cash transfers, I have started collecting building materials like iron sheets. Once I have assembled enough, I plan to start the construction process. After that, I plan to increase my herd of six goats and cows to ten cows and thirty goats. Owning this livestock would equip me with enough wealth that can help me generate money. 
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
My only source of income is making charcoal, which earns me approximately $40 per month. It is hard to get by and provide for my wife and three children with this amount given the rising commodity prices. Food is the only need I can mostly meet through my income; nothing more. For a long time, I had wished to build a more spacious house for my family but it had always been in vain since I lacked enough funds for the procedure. Gladly, the cash transfers revived my hopes, so I spent $28 from each of the recent three cash transfers on three pieces of iron sheets. I plan to buy these materials every month until I have enough to start building the new three-room house that I have so long desired. Also, as my household constantly runs out of food at least five times a month, I figured it right to spend the remaining amount on maize flour. 
10th Payment
Transfer Amount
3470 KES ($28 USD)
access_time 6 months ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
The "Makuti" grass-thatched house I live in is in poor shape. I built the house with very flimsy poles. In the event of a severe downpour, I worry that the house will collapse because it is leaning to one side. My new objective for this year is to purchase 24 pieces of iron sheeting with the funds from my transfers. This will assist me in getting ready to build a larger, more roomy house for my family. I can't fully support myself while building a new house because my on and off jobs pay very little hence I am unable to save enough towards building a new house.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I have six children currently enrolled in school and raising their school fees has been my biggest challenge. Due to this, they were constantly sent home for lack of fees as I could not pay for them on time. I do not have a stable source of income and I mainly depended on burning and selling charcoal which pays less. I also used to do other casual jobs for a living but I had to stop after being diagnosed with chest problems. Receiving the transfers brought a huge relief since I am able to pay for my children's fees timely every month. I am assured that my children will continue with their studies without interruptions. In addition to this, I also managed to buy three goats that I am currently keeping. I am expecting that they will reproduce and through them, I will be able to educate my children. I also paid for my medical expenses when I was admitted and did some shopping on foodstuffs for my family. This ensured that we had enough food, despite the ongoing drought that hit us hard and unable to do farming for long, which has been our main source of food.
6th Payment
Transfer Amount
3050 KES ($25 USD)
access_time 9 months ago
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I have five school-going children. Although they are very bright they are always disadvantaged because they are always sent home due to a lack of school fees. Last week when they opened a school, they were sent back home. I am so glad that my transfer came when I was in dire need of money. It helped me to pay part of their school fees. From the transfer, I spent KES 1,700 on paying their school fees. I am optimistic that this term they will have ample time to study. In addition, I spent KES 1,050 buying maize flour while KES 250 helped me to buy a cock. I am indebted to GiveDirectly for its unconditional cash transfer.
2nd Payment
Transfer Amount
3050 KES ($26 USD)
access_time 1 year ago
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
Give directly has done extremely well when it comes to cash donations. This has helped in improving our lives, thereby meeting our family's needs. However, I feel like the funds are way too small for the projects we have in mind. So, if there's a possibility for one to request the money in bulk, it would be great.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I am a farmer and a charcoal manufacturer. In the farming business, I specialize in maize, cassava, and coconut. From this, I have been managing my family's needs. All seven children I have been in school. Monthly, I pay 4600 towards their fees. Last season during the droughts, I plantations never did well. Therefore, the last few months have been hard for me financially. I incurred arrears of KES 6900. To improve my business, I used KES 2500 to buy a goat. Then the remaining amount, I used to buy 2 packets of maize flour, 1/2 a kilogram of sugar, and 20g of tea leaves.
Initial Payment
Transfer Amount
1200 KES ($11 USD)
access_time over 1 year ago
Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
I was working at the farm when I got the message confirming the receipt of the transfer. I then went to my brother to check if he had gotten the same and he confirmed it too. I waited for my child to come back home from school. When she got home, she checked the message and I asked her to go and withdraw the money. The next day, I gave her KES600 to reduce the school fee arrears of KES2600 and whatever remained I used it to purchase some maize flour.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
Being my first transfer, I have not seen much difference. But it has helped in reducing my debts, especially when it comes to the school fee arrears. My plan is to keep using the transfers to pay my children's school fees, buy some food and even do some house renovations.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
Working as a charcoal manufacturer earning only KES2000 monthly, school fee payment for my six children has been a challenge. So, when I received the funds, I had accrued arrears of KES2600. I paid KES600 to reduce the debt and the remaining KES600 I used to purchase 6 packets of maize flour.
access_time over 1 year ago
What does receiving this money mean to you?
I plan to use these transfers to pay school fees for my six children who are in primary school. I burn charcoal for a living and the income is not sufficient. I earn about 300 to 400 KES a week and some customers buy the goods on credit. It makes it harder to provide and still pay school fees for all my children. It saddens my heart whenever they are sent back home and I have to go back to school with them to plead with the teachers to allow them to stay in school. This is embarrassing at times but I do it for my children. Receiving these transfers will make life a bit easy on my end. I will be assured I have some cash to pay school fees every term.
What is the happiest part of your day?
I am always happy when my customers pay for the goods they took on credit. I get to at least buy enough food for my family to feed on for the whole week as I plan for the weeks ahead.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
A few years ago while I was coming out of the forest carrying firewood I fell and hit the ground with my chest. I had to be rushed to hospital but since then my health was affected. I tend to have frequent pains, especially at night when it is cold or when I am out burning charcoal. I am on medication but the pain disappears for a while only to come back later after the drugs have worn out.