Community Currencies in Kenya have gotten a lot of lime light this month!
Ruth Mwangi our Program Director has been honored to visit the US ambassador in Kenya and has received a Mandela Washington Fellowship for her work! We're very proud of her and expect her to lead us with newfound ideas and energy. The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.
We are often asked what the benefits of these programs are and as usage continues to grow we like to use current examples to demonstrate the impacts:
Siprosa - a Teacher using Sarafu-Credit in Nairobi - interviewed by Daniel Musioka our Nairobi Coordinator
Siprosa Odanga is a Teacher at Sifa Children’s Centre in Nairobi. She says "Sarafu-Credit has enabled the children in the community to get education and that is promoting education. Children pay their tuition using the Kshs and fill in the missing money with Sarafu-credit." She also receives part of the Salary in Sarafu-Credit. She uses SC to purchase food such as Chips from Rebba Muyeshi who is an Active member. She also purchases goods (Products) from the GBO shop. She says that SC has enabled the children in the community to get education if they lack enough KSHS to pay for tuition. More than 25 parents use SC as part of their tuition fees. 10 teachers use the SC as part of their salaries and to buy food stuff and shop. Sifa Children's Centre receives roughly 1600 SC a month.
Caren and Margaret - Chapati Business Women using Sarafu-Credit in Mombasa - interviewed by Lydia Anyango our Mombasa Coordinator
Caren Otaya (left) and Margaret Odera (right) are both members of the Bangladesh Business Network outside Mombasa since 2013. They are both happy with the local Sarafu-Credit (SC) (Bangla-pesa). Caren says, “I am glad that there are a lot of SC users in the community now because we get a lot of customers coming to eat from us. We have thus increased our sales and stock.”. “Also nearly all the people selling at the market and school children come to eat from us. This has made others who sell chapatti and beans like us to register in the network so that they get customers”, says Margaret. Their business has increased by over 50% since joining the network!
What's happening here?
The women above join a local group of schools and businesses that are trying to support each other by co-guaranteeing vouchers that rotate among all the members. Each member joins the network and receive a private credit line from the other members in Sarafu-Credit that is only usable within the network. With over 1000 businesses in these networks, these credits enable a vast amount of underutilized trade to take place by allowing people to back a credit with their goods and services.