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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53010 KES ($374 USD)
access_time 4 months ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
Firstly, I am resolute about acquiring comfortable and cozy bedding for myself and my family. For too long, I have endured restless nights on worn-out mattresses and tattered blankets, and I yearn for the simple luxury of a good night's sleep. Secondly, I envision expanding my livelihood through livestock, specifically goats. Their resilience makes them a wise investment, and by raising them, I can secure a steady source of income and improve my overall living conditions. As the days pass, I am committed to working tirelessly, saving every penny, and exploring every opportunity to turn these dreams into a reality for my loved ones and myself.
In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
Thanks to GiveDirectly's unconditional money, my life has taken an incredible turn for the better. For so long, I had been struggling to make ends meet, sleeping in a small and cramped house with no means to improve my living conditions. But now, with the financial support from GiveDirectly, I was able to invest in building materials and finally construct a spacious and comfortable home. I am incredibly grateful for what GiveDirectly has done, and I know that this new home is just the beginning of a brighter future for my family.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I am an old widow, and it has been a challenging journey since my spouse passed away two decades ago. Though I make and sell charcoal, the labor is quite exhausting, and I earn around $50 per month. My living conditions have been terrible; I live in an old, almost collapsing house. Whenever it rained, my two grandchildren and I would huddle together, getting wet and cold. The need for a safe and secure shelter became my top priority, so I decided to use a large fraction of the recent unconditional cash transfer to buy building poles and iron sheets. With the help of some kind neighbors, we constructed a new house, and I can't express how relieved and grateful I am to finally have a dry and sturdy roof over our heads. The remaining amount of money was spent on buying food. Having a stable source of food is crucial for my family's well-being, and I wanted to ensure that my grandchildren and I would not have to worry about hunger. The new house and the availability of regular meals have brought a sense of comfort and security that I hadn't experienced in years. Despite the hard work I continue to do, I can now face each day with renewed hope and strength, knowing that my family has a place to call home and enough to eat.
55000 KES ($403 USD)
access_time 7 months ago
Describe the moment when you received your money. How did you feel?
I was busy attending to my crops when a neighbor passed by and asked whether I had received money from GiveDirectly. I had my phone but I couldn't comprehend the messages. When I finally went back home, I called my helper who checked and confirmed that I had also received the transfer. I was greatly overjoyed because I never expected to get such a huge financial support that GiveDirectly sent. I could now think of building a new decent house after living in a grass thatched hut for years.
Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
Before I got enrolled into the program, I was staying in a small grass thatched hut, had no plan of upgrading to a better house. It was also leaking when it rains and at times I was forced to look for shelter elsewhere and my belongings would be soaked by the rains. When I received the transfer, I managed to buy iron sheets and building poles and built a new decent iron roofed house. This has been my dream which I couldn't fulfill at my own cost. I couldn't afford to buy even a single set of the building materials. I am no longer worried of rains now since I am staying in an iron roofed house like my fellow villagers.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I spent a bigger portion of my first transfer on buying building materials which include building poles and 25 iron sheets in order to build a new house. I have been living in a grass thatched house that was in a bad shape, and leaking uncontrollably whenever it rains. Also, I was replacing the grasses every month which was tiresome. I am at peace now that i managed to build a decent iron roofed house, which has greatly relieved me of the stress of replacing the grasses every month. Apart from the house, I also spent Ksh 4000 and purchased a goat. I had some but later I sold them to settle my financial needs, and I am glad that starting again. I am keeping this goat and let it reproduce and have many of them. I can readily sell the offspring to settle my financial needs. Lastly, I bought foodstuffs such as maize flour and paying for daily household expenses. This ensured that we do not lack food, since I bought enough that could last for more than a month.
access_time 11 months ago
What do you plan to do with the cash transfer?
A new semi-permanent house is the greatest desire that I have had in my life and this is because, over the years, I have not lived in an iron-roofed house. My main dwelling at the moment is grass-thatched which is leaking when it rains. With this money, I intend to spend a big portion of my transfer $600, to make my dream come to reality. In addition, I will buy a new bed and a mattress to replace the old ones which do not give me nice sleep. This will cost me utmost of $100. On the other hand, I will spend the remaining amount to cater to my other basic needs like food and new clothes. Thus, this is generally what receiving this money means to me.
What is the happiest part of your day?
The delicacies! During the Christmas season, my daughter who was working as a house help bought 1 bale of maize flour, 4 packets of wheat flour, and other ingredients that we used during the festive time. This was a surprise to me because, throughout the year, I had missed such an occasion where we share a meal with my extended family. It was through the celebration that I enjoyed different meals. Hence, I consider this as what has brought joy to my life.
What is the biggest hardship you've faced in your life?
Charcoal work being a job that is not favorable to many people due to its intensive nature has been the main source of income that I have depended on for a long time. This job being tiresome and energy-draining has affected my health and I am no longer productive a situation that has compelled me to majorly depend on my son who is a casual laborer. Since his support is inconsistent, sometimes I forfeit meals and this has equally made me look emaciated. I, therefore, consider myself to be facing a financial crisis, which stands out as my main challenge.