Home Business & TechEconomy Give Directly: ‘Free Money’ Or Test of Resource Management?

Give Directly: ‘Free Money’ Or Test of Resource Management?

by Jean Felix Muhire
1:51 pm

A meeting around ‘Give Directly’ project

 In mid-April, residents of Shingiro Sector, Musanze district received distinguished guests who were bringing good news.

They were introducing ‘Give Directly’, a global Non-Government Organization, established in 2008 to help the world’s poorest households with the support of different donors, foundations, businesses, and institutions.

Since 2016, their program reached out to Rwandans with beneficiaries in Nyamagabe, Gisagara, Ngororero, Ngoma and Gicumbi districts benefiting some Rwf 800,000 per household through the account of the mother in the family, which intends to assure effective management.

Kageyo sector, Ngororero district was chosen among the benefiting sectors, but for some, it became a test, rather than a financial booster.

“We registered a case of a family where, the wife received the money on Mobile phone and called it quit. To revenge, the husband also sold the family cow and took a different direction, end of the story,” said a grassroots’ leader in Kageyo sector, Ngororero district.

He went on to say that the financial support was given to everyone who had lived there for at least three months.

“For some, the money was helpful, but for others, it became a source of conflicts,” the official said. “We received complaints of family members who fought over this money.”

Another resident of Ngororero district, Kageyo sector said that many of these funds were wasted due to lack of monitoring.

“Many people used it profitably, but for several others, the money became source of conflict due to disagreements about its management,” the resident said.

“In our society, a man is the chief, the provider, but this approach preferred to channel the support through the wife which caused troubles,” he said.

He went on to say that in the first phase, each household was given Rwf 300,000 to help them acquire home equipment including mattresses, but many have returned them to the market.

“When this money was given, many spent it on entertainment,” he said.

He found that it would be better to give it in physical things instead of giving as money while they are not tracking their expenses.

The money has been also distributed in Ngoma District, but the same cases of mismanagement in households appeared.

“According to me, the money caused poverty to those who received it rather than helping them because a number of them spent it on drinking spree,” a resident in Ngoma district said.

“This amount of money was given to them without proper planning which resulted in misuse, because no one to monitor its use.” He said.

“I think that the money should be given to someone who has shown good planification, and the funder has to appoint a temporary employee who will manage to monitor the use of this money,” said another official, “After distributing the money, they don’t come back to see how the money was used up.”

“Money is intended for good but due to the mismanagement for some, it is causing troubles due to the fact that some became poor than before,” he added.

Godfrey Kayigana, the Acting Director General of social protection and community development in the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) admits that there were reports of some misuse, but the donor had chosen this approach for his genuine reason.

“A person has the right to use the money given to them as the want.  It was the philosophy of the supporter, but we continued to convince them that the people should be assisted, given some tips on how usefully they can use the money,” he said.

He went on to say that in the next phase, volunteers have been prepared to support beneficiaries because he also agrees that the cost of not preparing the citizen is high as it has been realized in various government programs such as Vision Umurenge Programme(VUP).

“Now the difference is that the second phase will be given after evaluating the use of first phase,” Kayigana said.

He also took the opportunity to ask the beneficiaries to provide information to some of the local leaders and anyone else who may want to benefit from this activity.

“We have talked to various MINALOC levels as well as the Rwanda Investigation Bureau and the Police are ready for anyone may want to profit from beneficiaries,” he added.

He further urged citizens to consult on how to spend the money that came in the form of grants because it is a rare opportunity.

 The next phase will benefit families in Musanze, Kayonza, Rusizi and Gasabo where the project targets economically vulnerable families.

Since 2009, Give Directly spent more than $650 million to support 1.4 million people from poor communities in Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Turkey, Uganda, USA, and Yemen.

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