Cash Transfer Elicit Smiles to Families Hit Hard by COVID-19

A bubbly smile filled the face of Caroline Wandera, a 67-year-old grandmother of five and a resident of Nambale Sublocation in Busia county, after receiving COVID-19 relief funds from Buckner Kenya, amidst the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

A small mud structured house and iron sheeted roof, on a small piece of land, is where Caroline and her family call home. Her husband has been bedridden since 1998, following the demise of his mother, rendering Caroline, the family’s breadwinner by default.

She resorted  in doing laundry for her neighbors in making ends meet; however, the peanuts earned from her business could not provide entirely for her family. Her grandchildren

failed to attend school regularly due to lack of school fees, stationery, and proper school uniforms.

“Life has been tough on my side, especially after my husband suffered from a stroke. We all depended on him, but life took a different twist. I had to look for a casual job to make ends meet, but the money earned from the business was insufficient,” said Caroline.

That pessimistic situation has made her rely on the support of well-wishers to place food on her table. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic placed a hot nail on a fresh wound, rendering Caroline hopeless. Her children lost their livelihoods, a situation that forced her grandchildren to go to bed hungry.

“This pandemic has reduced us to beggars. My children lost their jobs, I also can’t go to people’s homes to work from there, since most of them do not have enough money to pay for my labor, we are leaving from hand to mouth and depend on well-wishers for food,” said Caroline.

To ease the family burden, Buckner Kenya gave Caroline some money through its money transfer initiative, aimed at lessening the aftermath of COVID-19 on vulnerable households residing in rural areas and informal settlements.

Caroline was able to purchase cooking oil, salt, sugar, millet, maize, fish, bar soaps, and tea leaves for her family.

“I am grateful to Buckner Kenya for providing me with money to purchase essential items for my family, during this pandemic,” said Caroline

More than 100 vulnerable families in Cherangany, Busia, Nairobi, Kitale, and Bungoma have benefited from the cash transfer program.