GDLive Newsfeed
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.
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Newsfeed > Iarene's Profile
Iarene's family
Janitor/porter (works for others)
FSD / Urban Youth
There will be no further updates from this completed recipient.
3rd Payment
Transfer Amount
50000 KES ($492 USD)
access_time over 1 year ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
Life was very tough before I got enrolled into the program due to my lack of income that caused my family a lot of health problems that were brought about by a lack of sufficient food. I worked as a casual domestic worker or sometimes a construction worker which was not easy especially on an empty stomach. The jobs were also very irregular which made it impossible for me to make enough money for my family's needs, especially foodstuff, forcing us to go on an empty stomach most times that eventually caused my daughter and I stomach ulcers. There has been a lot of changes in my life since I received the transfers because I have managed to buy most household items I never had before and started a business that now earns me a decent and regular income that enables me to properly provide for my family. I have no stress and have realized that our health problems have also disappeared, thanks to the good regular meals that we can now afford.
Do you have any new or additional goals for your life?
With part of the third transfer I received, I decided to start a new business selling clothes, shoes and handbags that I import from the neighbouring country. I have not yet found a good shop to sell the items and I am currently selling them from my house which limits my customer base to my friends and a few referrals they make to others about the business. My biggest desire is to rent a shop in an open place where I can attract more customers and improve the business. I have also been taking hairdressing classes during my free time and once I have mastered everything, I will have a salon within the boutique that I planning to open to minimize expenditure.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
My biggest problem was lack of sufficient income which I tackled by starting a new business with part of the money I received. I now sell shoes, clothes and handbags which I import from the neighbouring country at a low price. I did not have any decent seats in my house, so I also bought a new set of sofas then spent the rest on personal requirements for my children such as clothes.
2nd Payment
Transfer Amount
37152 KES ($359 USD)
access_time over 1 year ago
How is your life different than it would have been if you never received the transfer?
My life has really witnessed some changes in finances because of GD transfers. There has been an improvement in my finances and I don't rely on help as before. In the past, I did not have any source of income. I would rely on casual work, odd jobs and even go look for what to do at a construction site just to earn a living. I would end up in debt which I was unable to pay back. I was growing thin and my health was deteriorating because I could overwork but get a very minimal income and food. When I received my first transfer, I used it to start a cloth business which has been my main source of income. As a result of the business, I have been able to pay all debts and even lend some of my friends now. I am financially stable because of GD transfers.
Do you have any new or additional goals for your life?
My new goal, for now, is to save and buy building materials. I do not have a house back at home and I always sleep at my mother-in-law's kitchen whenever I am at home. This has always been embarrassing for me and my family. I feel it is time I have my own house especially now that I get the support from GD.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I spent my transfer as fare when I went visiting at my home. I also bought a heifer as an investment for my family. This would be my saving for the money because when it reproduces I will have a number which I can be able to sell to raise money for paying school fees arrears for my children. The rest of the transfer I used on boosting my cloth business by adding more stock. Right now the business is now doing well because of the transfers. The remaining part of the transfer I used on buying food so that we may not run out of what to eat in the house.
Initial Payment
Transfer Amount
20000 KES ($193 USD)
access_time almost 2 years ago
Do you have any new goals that you didn't have before receiving the transfer?
My new goal is to boost my business. I do not want to see my business collapse again. This time I want to be keen and study the customer's needs and even add more products so that I can keep my business running. I also want to save for my children's education. I would be very happy to see them study without being sent home due to fee arrears. Apart from that, I plan to start paying for my medical card (NHIF). I am sickly and this card was a savior before I started defaulting on payments due to lack of money. Having it once again will mean better and faster treatment.
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 am now stress-free. I was able to revive my business which had collapsed. So far taking care of my daily needs has been easy. Before then, I had been going for casual jobs like construction work which were hectic and not a woman's field as considered by many people. Being able to provide for my children's needs easily makes me proud as a mother. I can only thank Give Directly for the financial empowerment that they gave me.
What did you spend your most recent transfer(s) on?
I spent part of my transfer to revive my business. I sell clothing materials. The business had collapsed because I had used all the profits and the running capital to meet family expenses. I opted to go for casual jobs which were available including construction work where I could strain just to see my children get basic needs like food for the day. Those were the most stressful days because I was slowly sinking into depression due to lots of problems that I had which could be sorted easily if I had money. I am glad that I have seen the meaning of life once again knowing that I am nowadays able to provide for my children unlike before after reviving my business. I also bought a television set to be watching with the rest of my family members. My children are happy because of the entertainment which they lacked and the shame of having to go to the neighbors just to watch is now a thing of the past. Seeing them spend most of the time in the house makes me happy. Apart from that, I also cleared the fee balance for my two children and the remaining amount was spent on food.
Describe the moment when you started receiving transfers. How did you feel?
It was around 4 am when I heard the message on my phone. I normally wake up early at around one o'clock just thinking of where to get money. I had been stressed for some time and getting sleep was a problem. That was one of the days that I almost never had any sleep. I held my phone and when I read the message and realized that I had received my transfer, I was overjoyed. This was the best news ever this year. I could only thank GiveDirectly for keeping their promise because I knew that my living standards were definitely going to change.
access_time almost 2 years ago
What do you plan to do with the cash transfer?
My first priority is to invest in a new business. I am a casual worker, I wash clothes for people at Eastleigh and also do construction work at construction sites. These work is very tiresome and does not pay much. I want to start a business of selling African attires here in Mathare. Previously I had tried to venture into it, I would go to Malaba to buy stock once a month, but I could not keep up with it because of the high cost of transportation. I want to put up a structure where I can sell the attires instead of hawking and be able to go to Malaba more frequently to purchase them in larger quantities. Secondly, I want to pay my childrens school fees. I am a single parent, my husband and I separated awhile ago and I was left to take care of my children all by myself. Currently he is married to the fourth wife and he does not assist me in taking care of our children. I have three children, two girls and one boy. I would want to invest in their education especially my daughters. I would not want them to drop out of school as I did. I dropped out of school at a very early age, my parents passed on and from the age of 12 I became a housemaid. I would like to give them a better life than I had, this I know I can achieve by investing in their education. Lastly, I want to be able to pay my National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), I registered awhile ago but I have not been able to make my monthly payments. I have incurred a great interest and I would like to settle it inorder to take my children to hospital when they fall sick. One of my daughters got burnt by hot water as she fell into a sufuria while she was playing on the bed, this affected her reproductive organs. I need to be taking her to hospital for check ups but I have failed in doing so since I lack the finances. My other daughter has ulcers that causes her to faint when she has not eaten. I lack money for food at times and in school they eat maize and beans which is not good for her, this means that she has to stay without food till she comes back home and hopefully I have money to buy food. The NHIF card will come in handy whenever they need treatment.
Describe your biggest worry.
My top concern is meeting my families daily needs. As a casual worker I have no stable income, hardwork is all I have. Everyday I wake up not sure of where I am going to get the next meal to feed my family. House rent being another challenge, fearing that I may be locked of my house with my children. Health care is a concern since both my daughters ail from different diseases and I cannot access medication. I am thinking of going back to my husband who we seperated just to be able to get some assistance from his family so as to give my children a better life.
What are your greatest ambitions?
My dream in life is to open a shop where I can be selling second hand clothes from Gikomba market and African attires here in Mathare. It is important to me that I have my own business, for me not to have to work at construction sites and wash clothes. I want to be able to provide for my children, to feed, clothe and buy one or two luxious items in house like a television. I feel so bad when my daughter asks me why we do not have a televison and while our neighbors have. I would like to be able to own such items, to give my children the comfort they would desire, for them not to fall into any temptations of wanting to own what we cannot afford in mischevious ways.
Describe your usual day. How do you spend your time?
On my usual day, I wake up in the morning prepare my children for school, if there is food in the house they eat, when there is no food they go to school hungry. I then leave for work to Eastleigh, I wash clothes for Somalis although it depends if they like me from my appearance then they can allow me to wash their clothes. I work till 3:30 pm in the evening. When I am done I can stick around incase of any other job that my arise, if I fail to get work I go back home, do my house chores, prepare evening food for my child for when they come out of school especially the one with ulcers since she does not eat maize and beans in school. Later I relax as I prepare to cook dinner, we have our dinner, say our prayers and sleep. In my free time, I go to church or relax in my house that is on Sunday. The rest of the days I spend working trying to get an income to feed my family.