The Vindakala Youth Bunge’s motto “Coming Together is Just The Beginning.” mirrors this excitement we have after the launch of Takaungu Pesa (TK-Pesa) a new Community Currency in Kilifi, Kenya.
As a youth group based in Takaungu-Kilifi county, one of the poorest counties in Kenya, Vindakala continuously must seek ways to support their livelihoods and that of their extended families. Hence self employment also known as “Hustling” becoming the means for survival.
Vindakala Youth Bunge together with Green World Campaign Kenya and Grassroots Economics Foundation have implemented a combined community currency and food security program. This is an opportunity to not only incubate and develop local resources but also a chance to build social relationships within the community.
On 9th November, 2018 the Vindakala Youth Bunge rallied the villagers of Takaungu to come and learn of the new ways of taking charge of their local economic development by taking part in the Takaungu Pesa, Community Currency programme. The day saw 322 locals and village elders from the area, women leaders, religious leaders, youth leaders, business people, fishermen and local politicians.
On the agenda were Question and Answer sessions, skits, songs and dances which filled the air as the villagers came to a halt at Kayanda grounds where the launch was held. People assembled to celebrate oneness, the true spirit of community currencies signifying that coming together is just the beginning! In this first round, roughly 10000 KSH worth of TK-Pesa was issued to a first round of 20 users, shopkeepers, madrasas, fishermen, schools …. With about 20 TK-Pesa one is able to get a meal of chapati and beans or a small fish. How Community Currency works in Takaungu: Local businesses receive a free credit in TK-Pesa worth 200 Kenyan Shillings.. The businesses can trade it among each other and at designated hubs. These hubs like the local Coconut Oil Factory accept the TK-Pesa for a portion or the entire price of their goods. Then use it for operating expenses like buying coconuts and farm implements. Some TK-Pesa is collected in these hubs and used for environmental services and food security programs. These programs pay for communal farm labor and inputs. The food from these farms can be purchased using the TK-Pesa and the workers on the farms can use the TK-Pesa at all the other shops in the community. So the TK-Pesa continues to circulate even when Kenyan Shillings are commonly not available.
Next Steps: After using the paper voucher versions of TK-Pesa for the next month we will introduce the digital system - which can be used on any type of phone (with or without internet).