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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.
Newsfeed > Pola's Profile
Pola's family
Small business
Standard Kenya
There will be no further updates from this completed recipient.
2nd Payment
Transfer Amount
53150 KES ($516 USD)
access_time almost 5 years ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
I was previously sheltering in an old grass-thatched house before GiveDirectly came to us. My life is currently different in that the money enabled me to build a new decent iron-roofed house, which I now live in. In addition to this, I also own livestock such as goats and a cow, which I would not have acquired at my own cost. Apart from these, I no longer struggle to provide basic needs such as food for my family unlike before when we could stay without food.
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
In my opinion, GiveDirectly has done well because generally, Fulfilling the important basic needs was a real struggle to many of us. Furthermore, we also could not access to decent shelter. Currently, our lives have drastically changed and improved because many of us are currently living in iron-roofed houses, and also providing basic needs such as food, clothing and education to our families is no longer a big problem to many of us. In addition, we now own livestock such as goats and cows which to us are assets and source of wealth. I do not see anything that GiveDirectly has not done well as far as their operations are concerned.
What did you spend your second transfer on?
I spent KES 23000 of the second transfer on buying a heifer and three goats. Having livestock to me is a long term source of wealth as they are assets that I can lean on in case of future financial needs. I also paid an advance payment of KES 3000 for my children's school fees, so that they would be allowed in school to avoid interruptions concerning school fees. Lastly, I spent the remaining amount of the transfer to cater for my households basic needs such as food and clothing for me and my children, as well as paying for other daily expenses at home.
Initial Payment
Transfer Amount
55000 KES ($549 USD)
access_time over 5 years ago
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life.
I could not meet the cost of renovating my ageing house and its state was worsening for it nearly collapsed, thanks to GiveDirectly for the transfer for I acquired enough building materials in order to construct a new house and very soon I will be moving into it for its almost complete. Building this house to me is the daily biggest difference that I have experienced through the transfer.
Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
I received the notification early in the morning as I was up to my daily tasks and on checking the message which I had just received, it was from GiveDirectly and to my suprise I couldn't believe I had received KES 55000. I was very happy about the money for I never imagined I could earn such a large sum of money in my life, it was like an answered prayer for I would be soon building a new house that I have been longing for.
What did you spend your first transfer on?
I spent part of my first transfer to purchase building materials in order to build a new house. Initially, I was living in a house that was in a bad state and it was at the point of collapsing due to ageing and I could not meet the cost of renovating it because getting money was a challenge to me. When I received the transfer, I bought iron sheets and building poles so as to enable me to construct a new one. I am now happy that I will soon be moving to my new house. There was also a shortage of food in my household and to curb this, I did enough shopping for foodstuffs that would take a much longer time to ensure that my family do not stay without food. Before I couldn't manage to buy food and we could stay hungry or at times skipping meals due to lack of money to cater for some basic needs for my family. I also spend a portion of the transfer to pay for my children's school fees for them to comfortably continue with their studies.
access_time over 5 years ago
What does receiving this money mean to you?
Receiving this money means i will be able to build a better house for my family. I will replace the leaking thatched roof with iron sheets and repair the mud walls because one side collapsed last month due to rainfall. Secondly I plan to use part of the transfers to prepare my two children who are joining high school next year by doing shopping for them such as books, school uniform and toiletries and paying part of their fees. Lastly, I will boost my business of making "mahamri" in a coastal breakfast delicacy here in Kenya. Previously, I would make them and only sell to my neighbors but now I plan to make a larger quantity and sell even in the neighboring schools. This will increase my income so I can meet my family's needs of food and education with more ease.
What is the happiest part of your day?
Morning is the happiest part of my day because I make "mahamri" and sell and from the money I make I can afford to buy flour, cook and eat with my children so we can get enough energy and strength to go to the farm for the rest of the day.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
As a single mother my biggest hardship is inadequate finances to take care of my family. Right now, I have two children joining high school next year and I do not have the money to pay their fees nor shop for what they will need in school eg books and uniform. My small business of making "mahamri" does not earn enough income to meet all my family's needs of food and education. Farming has also not been very productive due to low rainfall in the area.