Target: Paul Niehaus, CEO of GiveDirectly not-for-profit organization
Goal: Commend the GiveDirectly charity organization for providing simple direct-cash transfers to help poor families in Kenya.
Ever since the charity’s creation in 2008, GiveDirectly has received plenty of criticism from all over. Many seem to believe that simply handing money over to impoverished families in Kenya will result in them spending the money on extravagant goods, or attempt to abuse the program; the opposite is proving true for the needy in Kenya. Instead of donating random foods and clothing to the poor, GiveDirectly shows that if you give poor people money, they can spend it on what they know they desperately need.
The process in which families receive money through the GiveDirectly program begins with a donation through the main website, which is then transferred onto cheap mobile phones given to the selected family, using the m-Pesa mobile banking system in Africa. Once the family or individual receives a text message saying the organization has processed the donation, the receiver then visits a m-Pesa agent in town and exchanges the mobile credit for cash.
Many families have used their received donations to replace their grass hut roofs with sturdy and reliable metal roofs. Some have started businesses by purchasing corn mills and even motorcycles to operate a taxi service. Many families have also been reporting that they purchased cattle. The method of charity proves to be working, however there will always be a few people who waste their donations purely on food or alcohol, or whatever may seem important to them.
By signing the petition below, you will help commend GiveDirectly’s efforts at providing impoverished Kenyan families with the resources to make their lives better the way they see fit. While GiveDirectly’s approach may seem very simplistic and different when compared to other forms of charity, the idea is truly revolutionary.
Dear Mr. Peter Niehaus, CEO of GiveDirectly,
I am writing to you today to commend you and your team for your efforts relating to the GiveDirectly program. The idea is very simple, but the effects of that idea can be much more life changing than some donated food or clothes. People in poverty, extreme or not, know what is that would benefit them the most. By allowing simple cash transfers, without any loans and paybacks, you allow them to change their life the best way they know how.
There are still many critics against the idea, worried people may completely waste the money or begin to depend on the system. The criticism is valid, seeing as how there will always people who don’t appreciate the value of a certain situation or opportunity. For most people, however, helping them alleviate the struggle related to what they care most about, can mean a world of difference to them. Thank you.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sustainable sanitation via Flickr