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.
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53150 KES ($517 USD)
access_time 4 months ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
I have struggled through casual work to raise money for feeding my family. This is because I did not get a good education so as to get good employment. I had to put up with my small income from casual work in as much as it was not helping much. I had no way out. My income could not even meet our needs and I needed a good source of income to meet my family needs well. So when I received my transfer from GD, I first sorted out most of the urgent financial needs and used the rest to start cattle business. Right now the business is doing well and very soon I will start another business for my wife so as to boost our income. I would not have wanted to go back to the struggles I went through before the transfers.
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
If GD had given us an item for everyone in the village, so many of us would have not been helped. In as much as we needed help but we had different needs. Therefore getting the cash from GD changed so many lives in my village. GD should continue in the same way.
What did you spend your second transfer on?
I spent my transfer on boosting my cattle business which I started with part of my first transfer. Before the transfers, I did not have any income-generating activity which could help me out and I used to struggle to make ends meet. I wanted to avoid this by making the business stable to help sustain my needs in the future after the transfers.
55000 KES ($545 USD)
access_time 5 months ago
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life.
Ever since I boosted my business of buying and selling goats and cows in the local market my life has changed greatly. This is because I can now import and export the livestock from different markets easily unlike before whereby I used to restrict my business within my local market. I used to get very low profits as a result which greatly affected my family wellbeing. I could rarely meet most of the basic needs in my family considering I was the breadwinner. My children were always sent home to collect school fees. They could stay for so many days because the little profit I was getting was not enough to pay fees and proving their daily meals. I am now a happy business person because the business is doing well and I can now comfortably provide my family's needs.
Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
It was around 6 am, I was still on my bed when I heard my phone ringing continuously indicating there is a new message. Without hesitating, I decided to check what the message was all about since I was half awake. Upon checking, I realized it was an Mpesa message from GiveDirectly, they had debited my first transfer as they had promised earlier. I was so happy because I knew I would achieve a lot. I remember coming out of my bed fully awake. I started calculating and thinking of the most appropriate ways I would invest this money. I still remember the day as if it was yesterday
What did you spend your first transfer on?
I spent a bigger portion of the transfer on boosting my business of buying and selling of goats and cows. I have been running this business for so many years but the business has usually been shaky to the extent of utilizing capital in order to meet my family's needs. I am happy because I was able to revive the business which is now stable. I later bought a few clothes for my children and spouse because the old ones were torn and indecent. They couldn't even attend any event in the village because they didn't have good looking attires. The remaining amount of money I am using it in buying some foodstuff for my family. We are now able to afford three meals a day unlike before when we used to have a single meal.
access_time 8 months ago
What does receiving this money mean to you?
Receiving this money means a stable livestock business that will act as my reliable source of income. At the moment, I do this business but its capital is a loan of $200 that I borrowed from my potential neighbor. The entire profit that I usually get is shared equally with the lender leaving me with very little that cannot sustain my family's basic needs. I rarely save even a penny for future expenses and therefore, I always feel a big challenge in meeting other urgent family issues. My best plan is to spend the first transfer as a capital for this business and it will mean a steady income to the family. On the other hand, I plan to spend $200 and $300 of my second disbursement on house construction for my children and buying of oxen respectively. This will brightten up my life and hence, a better future.
What is the happiest part of your day?
I find evening being the happiest part of my day because, it is at this time when I get ample time to story with my children as we wait for our dinner. Their happiness gives me comfort and build up my confidence of facing the next day's work.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
I have always thought of a happy life and I am always determined to achieve this goal but due to financial constraints, I have never realized this. Despite all my struggles, I fell short in meeting some of the family needs like paying school fees and better housing for my children. At the moment, I owe my neighbor a loan of $200 that I borrowed to start my livestock business but the income is very low since we usually share any profit that is earned. Therefore, I consider the lack of a reliable source of income as my biggest hardship.