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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How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
I value education as well as the well-being of my family members. Therefore, in the coming year and beyond, I hope to see all my school-aged children enrolled and continuing with their education. I believe that offering them an opportunity to go to school and learn is the best gift I can give them. They will gain a lot from it in the long run. Also, as long as I continue to get monthly transfers, I will make sure that they are always used to cover my children's educational expenses.
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
GiveDirectly, in my opinion, does well in alleviating poverty by providing unconditional cash transfers to the less fortunate members of society. No one is forced to participate in its cash transfer program because it offers all potential recipients the necessary information. It focuses heavily on cash safety messaging and how to detect and avoid fraudsters to protect us from such vices. Also, by including everyone in the communities where it works, GiveDirectly can improve its operations. Ensuring that everyone receives the transfer can contribute to making sure that everyone's life is improved.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
Since I do not have a job, my wife and I decided to burn charcoal to generate income for family support. I find it difficult to pay school fees for my children, so when the transfer payments started, I was incredibly thankful to God. Transfers from GiveDirectly are like a gift from God to us. My family has undergone considerable improvement as a result. For instance, compared to before I started the program, I do not struggle as much. From the recent transfer, I used $20 to cover my daughter Mapenzi's and my son Charo's unpaid school fees. Both had $20 in outstanding school fees. After paying the fees, I spent the remaining cash on more food to help alleviate the present famine situation.
1480 KES ($12 USD)
access_time 3 months ago
Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
I was in the field, at around 6 p.m., looking after my goats when my phone rang with a message alert. Since I cannot read, I waited till I got home later to have my helper check the contents of the message. A wave of joy and relief rushed over me as I received the news from my helper. Getting the money meant that my children would finally resume classes after days of missing school due to unpaid fees. Am eternally grateful to Give Directly.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
Right now, the biggest difference I can attest to following my first cash transfer is keeping my children in school. Prior to the transfer, they had stayed home for two days because I lacked the money for their fees. No week would pass without them missing out on classes. Gratefully, this has never happened after I paid the debt using part of the cash.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
To fend for my family, I make and sell charcoal, which earns me around $12 per month. This income is not enough to cover school fees for my two children and put daily food on the table. As a result, hunger is a concern in my household, which leaves us starving for at least ten days a month. When I received the cash transfer, my two children had missed classes for two days due to overdue tuition balances. Immediately, I spent $10 to pay the deficit and they resumed classes. Am relieved that they have never been sent back home for school fees since that day. I spent the remaining amount on food as my family had slept hungry the previous night. Though the food did not last long, am happy it quenched our hunger that day.
access_time 1 year ago
What does receiving this money mean to you?
I'm a casual laborer in the village partly employed by someone as a gardener and a messenger earning 5000 KES monthly, and also taking up other casual jobs elsewhere in the village in my spare time to supplement. But still I'm always limited because I have a deformity on my small finger of the right hand that makes it quite painful to be doing these physical jobs. The finger is permanently folded so it's hard to hold a tool for long. When I get this money, it will relieve me off the school fees burden. I have one wife and three children who're all schooling paying 1000 KES each every academic term. I haven't been able to pay this regularly and still feed the family.
What is the happiest part of your day?
A week ago I had some assignments that involved cutting building poles for a particular person who was suppose to pay me 200 KES for every bunch. But when he returned in the evening he was really impressed with the much I was able to do for the day that he decided to just pay me 700 KES without counting in bunches. I was really happy considering that what I managed was obviously less than three bunches. This doesn't happen a lot, even working for such kind of people is just a luck.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
My biggest challenge is lack of a reliable source of income. I have lived in this village all my life and I have never had a meaningful job that can earn me a reasonable amount of income. Currently I'm employed as a gardener and a messenger earning 5000 KES monthly and on the side I do get some other casual jobs that can get me between 200 to 400 KES weekly whenever I'm lucky enough. This is rather too low for someone who has a family as it's never reliable as well.