As you might remember from episode 867 with GiveDirectly President Rory Stewart, we began a fundraiser that aimed to put life-changing funds in the hands of all 187 residents of Ngamani Kafitsoni village, Kenya. Because of your generous support, we hit our goal in something like 48 hours — so we expanded the campaign to raise money for 137 people in Kapkun, a second village in Kenya. We ended up exceeding that stretch goal too, and by no small amount!
Our partners at GiveDirectly said that the campaign raised $54,000 and unlocked $20,000 in matched funds and, on top of that, GiveDirectly conservatively estimates that the impact of the funds will be closer to $152,000, which they said will help them reach 75 additional families in the months and years to come. But there’s plenty more need; you can still help transform the lives of people in poverty by giving directly. Through December 31st, all donations will be doubled until $250k in match funds pledged by 21 donors run out. This is a true match, so any unused match funds expire after midnight ET on New Year’s Eve.
Many of you (as well as I) wondered how the money would specifically be spent, so we heard directly from several of the people whose lives were positively affected by this fundraiser. Here are a few of their stories.
I lacked the money to make my life decent. We lived on a land that belonged to someone else and could be kicked out at any moment. My children’s education was also at stake because they were chased away from school due to fee issues. I really desired to have a place for my children to call a home, where they can have the opportunity to settle and focus on their studies.
When I received this money, the first thing in mind was to secure a place where I can shift and live a new life with my family. I spent $270 to purchase a quarter of an acre piece of land. I have already bought some building materials that cost me $150. The balance in my account, which is $220, will help with the construction of the house on my new land. I also bought two goats at $40. This is my long-term project. I know I will be able to sell their offspring and make more money to take care of my family. I can’t wait to see what our future looks like.”
I’ve always had a lot of passion for beekeeping but my financial situation made it impossible for me to grow my business. I lacked harvesting materials and ended up abandoning the project after a serious bee sting. I opted for casual jobs like charcoal burning and selling. I would be lucky to even make $2 a day.
The money I received from GiveDirectly awakened my desire to restart this project. The happiness I felt can’t even be put into words. I’ve already bought 11 locally made beehives using a portion of my first transfer, and I intend to add five more. This cost me $130. I am anticipating relatively high profits and I plan to use my income to purchase a piece of land and build a new house.”
I always had tailoring skills but did not have the money to buy the machine and the other materials needed for the business. I have been a housewife since I got married five years ago. This has pained me a lot because I could not involve myself in any reliable job apart from the casual strenuous ones like charcoal burning.
The arrival of GiveDirectly was a huge blessing to me since I knew this was the right time God had made for my dream to come true. Immediately [after] I received the first transfer, I spent $140 to buy a brand-new sewing machine inclusive of four pieces of cotton materials and other sewing-related equipment. Although I still lack a decent working room, I have decided to operate from my room, and in a day, I make at least $15. It feels really fulfilling to be doing something I love and [do well]. My family is now eating well and [is] more at peace because of my earnings from this. I believe this business will thrive and attract high profits in the near future.”
I felt that I wasted over a decade living on squatter land. I couldn’t have the opportunity to invest on this land or construct a decent house for my family because of the worry of being chased away any time. This also affected my children’s education because they could not access a good place to study at home. What a great pain as a mother!
Receiving this money meant changing the status quo of my life and I decided to spend $5 of the transfers to pay as deposit for a two-acre piece of land which will cost $14 in total. Although my deposit was still low, it guaranteed the owner a trust in me and I was allowed to own the land as I pay the balance in small installments at my own pace. This has warranted me a great feeling of ownership and I already shifted my home. The children are happy and back in school. I paid their $15 school fees. I’m currently using the remaining amount to construct a semi-permanent mud-walled house for my family. What a change!”
My life before in this village was so miserable and I felt to be the one defining the poverty of our village. At home, we used to stay in a one-roomed small house covered with rugged clothes on some parts of the walls. Since I lack a reliable job, my children’s education was never spared and they used to have huge arrears of fees.
This cash support could not have come at a better time. I was able to construct a small, two-roomed mud-walled house to spare us from the effect of cold weather and dangerous of wild animals. This cost me $248. On the other hand, I cleared the fee arrears of $100 for my children in school and they are currently settled. I also invested $20 in my maize business. The village is very [happy] that I’m now supplying them with good maize. In addition, I decided to venture into livestock farming, and on this, I bought eight goats at $215. This is a project which I believe will support our lives in the future because they have high returns within a short period of time.”