This week, Francis, Margaret, and Charles, each of them at various stages of receiving their three cash transfer payments, spoke to our team. They each described how they spent the transfers and how this impacted their lives.
Two of three recipients spent some part of their transfer on improving their homes. For Margaret, home improvements included adding a metal roof. Switching from thatch to metal can be transformative for households, with benefits ranging from increased income to cleaner drinking water.
One more note: Margaret is severely mentally challenged, so her brother-in-law Morris acts as her trustee and accepts the cash transfer on her behalf. In this campaign in Kenya, about 2% of recipients who were eligible for transfers had a trustee accept the payments on their behalf.
Francis, age 37, is single and lives with two children.
My life is better because I built a house. I also bought a cow, two goats, and household items like a mattress, bed, and paid dowry for my wife. I spent this money [the most recent transfer] on buying building materials.
I am planning to cement my house and electrify my house through the rural electrification project. My life is different because I now have a tinned house.
Margaret is mentally challenged and lives with her child, who answered these questions for her, and with her brother-in-law Morris who accepted the transfer as her trustee.
I used the transfer to build a two-roomed iron-sheet house. [With] the remaining part of the transfer I bought food.
The biggest difference in my daily life is the fact that I don’t have to pay rent, because now I own a house.
I have a goal of buying manure and seeds for ploughing.
Charles, age 44, lives with his wife and two children.
Life is better because I paid school fees that I could not have raised money for, and I started a poultry business that is now boosting my general income.
I spent the transfer on buying 100 day-old chickens at 10,000 shillings [$100], paid 15,000 shillings [$150] as school fees for my child, and bought chicken feed worth 15,000 shillings [$150].
The biggest difference in my life is my improved standard of living. I have a business that I am running through which I can now generate income. I never had this before.
Correction: In a previous version of this post we mistakenly attributed to Charles the answers provided by another recipient.