Grassroots Economics works with communities across Kenya to develop systems that allow parents to pay for their children's education using their goods and services and when money is scarce. Community group develop cooperative businesses, who's vouchers act as a medium of exchange in the community. These vouchers (which we call Community Currency) provide for stable trade even when national currency drains out of the region due to slow months (external market volatility). Parents can get a small school credit by accepting Community Currency in their business. Parents and students can also take part in community service work, like tree planting and elderly care for Community Currency.
The Skylife school is located in Gatina 56 Kawangware, Nairobi. It is one the most active schools in the Gatina network. The head teacher Mrs. Susan Lukobo is one of the most active members since the community currency commenced in Gatina the year 2014. The school has employed 9 teaching staff members and one being a non-teaching staff, with more than 300 students attending. The school being an active user of community currency has enabled students to acquire education without hustles. Children with different backgrounds and up-bringing from the surrounding area have been able to increase their attendance. Using community currency for their tuition fees has made it possible for them to acquire more knowledge and skills.
Once the school accepts it, community currency is used for paying teachers as part of their monthly salaries in advance and the teachers, in exchange, use it to purchase goods and services from hundreds of other members registered or operating within the business network. Members of the network (GBO) who have children attending schools like Skylife have had an opportunity and an added advantage to involve their children in the education program by using community currency to pay school fees.
It has increased the number of students in schools compared to the previous year by over 20%. Children with disabilities have also been in a position to have equal chances compared to the normal students taking studies in the same school. Community currency has promoted education in the existing communities around Gatina Kawangware and this in turn has increased trade in the community.