GiveDirectly is a non-profit organisation registered in New York, US, and operating in East Africa (and for the purposes hereof in Kenya), that helps families and individuals living in extreme poverty by making unconditional cash transfers to them. GiveDirectly aims to reshape international giving by allowing donors who value transparency, rigorous evaluation and respect for the poor to provide cash grants directly to the world’s poorest. GiveDirectly is the leading global non-profit organization specialized in digital cash transfers.
It conducts cash transfer programs in multiple countries, and has operated in Kenya since 2011;
a. GiveDirectly is desirous of implementing a project christened the Emergency Cash for the COVID-19 Crisis which will provide emergency grants (cash transfers) to vulnerable people living in Kenya. The cash transfers will be unconditional. The goals of this project, beyond positively impacting the lives of the recipients, are to:
I. Provide recipients with vital support during the COVID-19 crisis, and
II. Protect the most vulnerable in Nairobi by lessening the need to move around to seek work.
b. In order to implement this project effectively, GiveDirectly seeks to target people within existing groups known to Ruben Centre, owing to Ruben Centre’s extensive work and experience within the identified areas; which experience and information Ruben Centre’s hereby warrants and guarantees to have, and the same to be accurate and useful.
c. Ruben Centre undertakes to provide support as agreed for specific community activities, including community entry and introductions, meetings with people and introductions/engagements with community leadership and local government representatives where necessary.
d. Ruben Centre will identify over 7,000 needy families of Mukuru Kwa Reuben slums, who are currently connected to Ruben Centre and who are on its data base as beneficiaries of at least one of their projects, especially in health, social and economic empowerment and education.
The Reality on the ground
Measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 have disrupted informal labour markets and led to significant income loss for many low-income households. Few will have the financial resources to weather this storm, let alone provide additional care for loved ones in need. This is the moment for digital cash.
Each recipient will receive US $30 per month for 3 months. This comes to a cumulative amount of Ksh. 63,000,000 or AUD $ 1,000,000 or US $630,000. A figure not to underestimate.
The Kenya Emergency Cash Fund was created by GiveDirectly in partnership with the Shikilia initiative.
Shikilia ( hold tight/ persist) is a collaboration between Kenyan private sector and non-profit organizations to raise funds and provide emergency cash transfers to low-income Kenyan communities to replace lost income due to COVID-19 and prevent a widespread humanitarian crisis. Partner organizations include Black Butterfly, Busara, Dalberg, Endeavor Kenya, FSD Kenya, GiveDirectly, JoyJet, Mercy Corps, NCBA, Oxfam, Pesalink, Safaricom, Sokowatch, and SunCulture. Ruben Centre signed an MOU with GiveDirectly INC. on Friday 15th May and began signing on potential beneficiaries on the same day. People associated with our projects were contacted and expected to front up to Ruben and fill in the appropriate forms with two key elements being Kenya identity card and Safaricom (service provider) number.
After validation by GiveDirectly the first cash transfer of USD 30.00 will be made by MPESA (mobile money transfer service).
Each house hold decides what it needs in this critical time where for many household incomes has completely dried up after two months of curfew, disrupted food supplies, absence of water, no government support and casual and other low paying work all but gone.
Some follow up to the household is done after the first payment and a second payment for the upcoming month will made.
This first day went smoothly and there was no indication of the chaos and pandemonium that was to happen on the second day. Clearly word was out and Ruben Centre was named the new cash cow and Christmas in May.
Slow learners we are, despite earlier knowledge of the value of daily mutations to keep one step ahead of the virus.
After one hour of chaos the task was cancelled and staff had to regroup and manipulate a mutation for Monday.
It worked and by the end of the day nearly 4,000 potential beneficiaries were on the books and by the 23rd of May, the target was achieved. GiveDirectly noted that of all organizations, Ruben Centre has been flawless with its registration with no double entries in either of the categories: name, ID number and/ or phone number. This is all credit to our heedful IT man Thomas Lemba. Ruben Centre does not get anything out of all this other than the start of good partnership with multimillion-dollar organization.
Our biggest satisfaction and joy for the people of Mukuru is that they know someone cares despite the prevailing situation.
courtesy of Ruben Centre ( www.rubencentre.org )