Priscilla Ngilla

The Covid-19 cash transfer Pilot helped Priscilla Ngilla’s family afford food and evade eviction | Photo By Asha Jaffar / Oxfam in Kenya

If you had not sent me the money...I would have been chased away

Priscilla Ngilla is a 47-year-old mother of two – a young boy and girl. She worked as a school cleaner before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and washed clothes for rich clients on the side to earn up to 2,000 KES (16.57) on some days. Since the pandemic struck, private school closures and the disappearance of domestic labour jobs have left Ngilla’s family of three with no income whatsoever.

To cope with the loss of her income, Ngilla has had to reduce her family’s meals to one per day, as she tries to borrow food or money from neighbours, and sacrifice her own meals to make sure her children can eat.

Even so, since the pandemic began her family once went for two straight days without a meal.

Priscilla Ngilla | Photo By Asha Jaffar / Oxfam in Kenya

In April, Ngilla received KES 5641 from Consortium partners Oxfam in Kenya, The Kenya Red Cross Society, Concern Worldwide, ACTED and IMPACT.  Ngilla was among the initial 625 pilot cash transfer recipient households who received a total of KES  3,469,215 that month with the goal of covering 50% of their basic needs.

“It has helped me a lot, I even thank god for that. Because...this house, if you had not sent me that money, I wouldn’t be here. I would have been chased away. But thanks to what you gave us I was able to divide it a little and pay for the house, and a debt I had nearby to pay for food.” Said Ngilla.

Thanks to a €5 Million (KES 630,491,100) grant funded by the European Union, the successful cash-transfer pilot in which Ngikka was enrolled has been recently expanded to cover an estimated 80,000 vulnerable Kenyans in Nairobi informal settlements.

With the help of EU funding, NGOs Oxfam in Kenya, The Kenya Red Cross Society, Concern Worldwide, ACTED, IMPACT, CREAW and the Wangu Kanja Foundation have transferred KES 91,060,280.00 to date to 11,328 vulnerable families (an estimated 45,312 total people) in Nairobi informal settlements to help them afford basic necessities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the course of three months, the NGO consortium aims to transfer an 398,748,899.45 Ksh to 17,390 families (an estimated 69,560 people).