African Villagers Given Free Money

David Cornell - Author
By

Aug. 18 2013, Updated 8:09 a.m. ET

Some African villagers have been given $1,000 dollars a year, no strings attached.

Now before anyone says it’s just a huge waste of money, keep in mind that the charity involved is only giving it to people around the world living in the most impoverished conditions. They are looking for the most truly needy.

GiveDirectly is a charity that aims to improve the quality of life around the world for the people who need it most. One such village in Africa is Siaya, a small village in Kenya, where the people live in dirt-floor homes, grow vegetables on small plots of land, work all day if they can, and starve if they can’t find work.

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Bernard Omondi is one of those African villagers who received such a gift. He worked when he could, often traveling to distant construction sites to move stones, and generally earned about two dollars a day. There were days when he, his wife, and their two sons starved because he couldn’t find work. Then one morning he woke to an unusual text message. When his wife asked him what it was about, and he simply said, “It’s here!”

Bernard Omondi was surprised because he had discounted what the strangers had said a month earlier, thinking they were trying to buy votes for politicians. Alas, he had been given $500 as the head of household of one of the neediest families in the village. He told his friends about it and they were still skeptical, telling him that the men would be by to take it back some day.

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These African villagers are only a portion of the population gaining benefits from GiveDirectly, no strings attached. Over six million families in Mexico are being given the same gift. At first it was worrisome that these families would simply use the money to buy cigarettes and alcohol, but it was proven that they used the money to keep their children in school, eat healthier, and even invest a portion of it for later.

It just goes to show that the ones who really need the money will use it more wisely.

What do you think of the African villagers being given free money?

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