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.
Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
As I sat in the school meeting for my children around 2 in the afternoon, my phone buzzed with a notification that left me absolutely elated. It was the message confirming that I had received my unconditional cash transfer from GiveDirectly. In that moment, a rush of joy washed over me, and my heart filled with gratitude. The weight of financial stress that had burdened me for so long suddenly lifted, and I couldn't help but envision the possibilities ahead. With this unexpected blessing, I knew I could finally renovate our humble home, providing a safer and more comfortable environment for my family.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
Since I began receiving unconditional cash transfers from GiveDirectly, the most profound change in my life has been the transformation of my home. I used to live in a dilapidated house that I feared would collapse at any moment, and it was constantly dusty and muddy whenever it rained. Being a widow, I couldn't even dream of renovating this house anytime soon due to the poverty that had befallen my household. However, thanks to the support I received, I was able to rebuild and refurbish our home. Now, I am overjoyed to see my family thrive in a safe and comfortable environment. We no longer live in constant fear of our house collapsing or struggling with the harsh elements. It's incredible to witness the smiles on my family's faces as they enjoy the simple pleasures of a stable and pleasant home. The unconditional cash transfers from GiveDirectly have truly given us a fresh start and a brighter future, one that we can now confidently embrace with hope and happiness.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I spent $265 of my first transfer to buy 10 bags of cement and bricks, a purchase that was long overdue. My house was in dire need of renovation; the walls needed plastering, and the floor required cementing. Living in a dusty and muddy environment during the rainy season had robbed me of peace of mind. Every time it rained, I dreaded the mess it created. With the renovation, I finally started to see a ray of hope—a cleaner and more comfortable living space for myself and my children. In addition to fixing the house, I used $200 of the money to pay the school fees for my two children, who are in their final years of high school. It's been a constant struggle to keep them in school due to financial constraints, and there were moments when I doubted they'd make it this far. But now, as I watch them prepare for their final exams, I can't be prouder. I'm filled with hope as I think about their future, and I can't wait to see them join universities. With the remaining amount, I bought food to sustain my family of six children. Their father passed away three years ago, and it's been tough, but these funds have given us a new sense of stability and a brighter outlook on life.
access_time 2 months ago
What do you plan to do with the cash transfer?
Putting to an end the problem of poor housing and water scarcity in my household is generally what receiving this money means to me. Since our area is dry, the water pans also end up drying which poses a big risk to us. I have planned to have an alternative way of storing rainwater from my house roof. With this money, I will be able to buy a tank and some gutters for $200. This will help me to have enough water to use in case our water pans dry up. On the other hand, I will also use utmost $300 of my transfers to reinforce my house with stones and cement. This will give it a good shape and make it stable. The remaining amount will help me to start livestock keeping especially goats which are drought resistant. To make this a reality, I will start with 10 goats. Achieving this will mean a happy livelihood for my family.
What is the happiest part of your day?
In July this year, I harvested my maize which gave me a bag of 90 kilograms. Although this is very little, I am happy because my family will be able to get enough food for the next 1 month. This will help me to make some cash from my casual jobs to support my children in school. Seeing my children going to school makes me feel so happy as a mother and this is what has been putting a smile on me.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
The lack of a reliable source of income is basically what has made my life so harder at the moment. This is because, being a widow means assuming all the household responsibilities which include paying school fees, and food provision among others. Since I depend on charcoal work, meeting all these needs becomes a challenge because my work is tiresome and less profitable. In a month, I usually make utmost $50 which mostly goes to food leaving my children desperate in school. What a life!