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 ($468 USD)
access_time 4 months ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
I had an aim of making a better house for my family. We were living in a house that was falling apart. Our roof used to leak and it would be so cold in the house since the house had holes all over the walls. My children would constantly get colds because of the state of our house and they would constantly complain of mosquitoes at night. I had really hoped to provide better living conditions for my family and this was something I was really focused on. I was able to achieve this goal using my first transfer. I had also used 5000 shillings to pay for Dlight solar. This was a goal I had after getting the transfers. I knew that my children needed to be able to read at night. Now my children can comfortably do their homework as well as read and I am also not a bother to my neighbours since I can now charge my phone at home. They wake up to prepare for school at six and this solar lights have made school preparations so easy. I also had a goal of acquiring some livestock to raise for economic purposes. I had goats as my only livestock and I wanted to expand this. This was a goal that I equally achieved with this transfers and I am now a proud owner of five cows.
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
Give directly has been a blessing to my family. I am beyond words. My children, my wife and I are so greatful as now we have a new home. We are no longer living in the deplorable conditions you found us in. You have also allowed me increase my herd. Now I have cows in addition to the goats I used to have. My home is now well lit. I have a light to use throughout the night and I can also charge the phone which, you also, are the reason I have. I cannot complain about anything. Mine is to give thanks on behalf of myslef and my family.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
Most of my first transfer went into sorting out a house for my family to live in. I had decided that since I hadn't used the money to do anything that would allow me make money and I had really wanted to increase my livestock numbers and add more profitable animals I decided to use my second transfer in buying cattle. I bought five female calves. Each of the calves was being sold at 8000 shillings each and I, in total, spent 40,000 in the purchase of this calves. I had goats before which I would sell and make some money but I had seen that cows were a more profitable animal to keep as I would be able to sell milk as well as get more cows that I would sell for meat. I am hoping this will sustain me and allow my children go through school from the proceeds of the business. I spent 2500 from the money to pay for my children's school fees as well as which allowed them to go to school and I have no pending debts with the school. The remaining amounts from the transfers went into daily food needs which is a big part for us since we had had a time of struggle with food.
55000 KES ($491 USD)
access_time 6 months ago
Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
It was around 9 AM when I was on my way from the daily hustle when my mobile phone started ringing so loudly. I was a bit shocked and curious becasue ever since I acquired the phone I have never received a message at such an hour. I, therefore, decided to check who it could be. Upon checking, I realized that it was Mpesa from GiveDirectly indicating that I had received my first transfer. I was overwhelmed with joy and the following day I started to utilize the cash since I had all the plans in mind.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
The biggest difference in my daily life is that I have goats that I am currently keeping in my homestead. I have been longing to own even one but I couldn't afford it because they were very expensive. I had to settle for goats because they mature very fast, and they reproduce twice a year. My aim is once they multiply I will start a business of buying and selling the goats around the village for a profit. For quite a long time, I have always dreamed and wanted to start this kind of business but I had no capital to start with. Since goats are in high demand, I am optimistic that this is a lucrative business. This will now be my main source of income since I have been relying on odd jobs to take care of my small family. I am positive that through the goats I will no longer be borrowing food from friends as I used to do and I will be in a position to cater to my family's daily needs more comfortably.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I spent part of my first transfer on buying twenty pieces of iron sheets at 23000, timber, nails, and the labor costs of KES 8000. This was for the construction of a new house becasue the previous one was a smal hut that was in critical condition and it woud collapse time soon and my worry was no one would host me beasue even my neighbor's houses are temporary small huts. In addition, I bought ten goats at 20000 which I am currently keeping in my compound and they are now the reliable assets that I can proudly mention. To add to that, I bought a new bed and a mattress at KES 11000 to replace the traditional beds that I have been using for all those years which was never comfortable. With the little amount that had remained, I bought foodstuffs and other household items that I was lacking.
access_time 8 months ago
What does receiving this money mean to you?
Receiving this money means an improved standard of living. I plan to build a decent house, invest in livestock farming then start a family. Lack of money has prevented me from fulfilling these three needs. The roof to my house leaks and the mud walls are falling off. I intend to build another house at a cost of KES 10,000. I already have some materials and I also have a skill in house construction. For the livestock, my plan is buying 20 goats and 4 calves all at a combined figure of KES 80,000. From this I will be able to pay dowry and start a family.
What is the happiest part of your day?
The happiest part of my day is in the morning. My day's activities are very physical and therefore having that energy in the morning motivates me a lot. I am more productive in the morning hours.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
The biggest hardship in my life is lack of money to invest and do various projects that can boost me financially. I have always wished to marry and have children but the tough economic times have been a hindrance. I rely on selling charcoal which is energy draining with very little income. A sack of charcoal goes for only KES 600. This is so little that I can neither save nor support and raise a family.