The Kenya Red Cross Implementing a 9-Month COVID Recovery Program Using Sarafu Blockchain Currencies

The Kenya Red Cross, the largest humanitarian organization in Kenya, is implementing a 9-month COVID early recovery intervention in Kenya starting with in the coastal town of Mombasa.

The project employs a hybrid approach of unconditional cash transfer and the Sarafu Community Inclusion Currencies (CICs) to support livelihood recovery of communities who have been affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SEE ALSO[PODCAST] How the Kenya Red Cross is Using Blockchain-based Sarafu e-Vouchers During Covid-19 with Safia Verjee

The organization is already seeking a CICs and cash transfer officer familiar with the Sarafu Network economics to enable effective implementation, coordination, engagement with local stakeholders, and documentation of the learnings and experiences of implementing these blockchain-based eVouchers.

The Kenya Red Cross will be working closely with Grassroots Economics, the organization behind the Sarafu Network, in order to ensure the CIC systems are in place and as per the developed standard operating procedures within the approved budget and work plan.

Some of the value add expected to come out of this initiative include:

  • Develop working community procedures
  • Develop standard operating procedures for blockchain-based CICs
  • Develop evidence-based policymaking for the local government and policy makers
  • Document learnings and experiences of blockchain-based CIC implementation

Speaking to Bitcoin KE, Grassroots Economics Director, Will Ruddick, said:

“We’re just excited and happy that the people in Kisauni (Mombasa County) will see long-term benefits beyond typical aid. We’ve seen people helping people with over 243 million Sarafu trades (Over $2 million) and Kisauni could see well over $3 million of trade just like other CIC usrs over 2021.

One important thing to note is that there is NO exchange for Kenyan Shillings – it is really a community support barter network. The really basic idea here is the Golden Rule – Offer help, goods, services to others as you would like them to offer to you.”

~ Will Ruddick, Director, Grassroots Economics

So far,  the Sarafu Network is supporting a growing number of users, now numbering 40, 000 users and counting. Roughly 50% of the network is rural and has so far traded over 100 million Sarafu tokens in 2020 alone.

The Sarafu Network Dashboard Usage as of December 2020
About Community Inclusion Currencies (CICs)

Community Inclusive Currencies (CICs) are blockchain-based eVouchers that community members use to share, buy and sell basic needs among each other in the face of scarce national currency. CICs introduces a replicable mechanism for communities to eradicate poverty by creating connected, inclusive, and sustainable local circular economies.

CICs allow the community to trade amongst each other thereby increasing productivity, promoting a supporting and saving culture, and the registered members are able to access and afford necessities. When combined with Cash Transfers and aid disbursements, CIC transaction data serves as a way to identify people in need and those that are working to support their community.

RECOMMENDED READING: [WATCH] With 40, 000 Users, This is How Sarafu Blockchain Currencies are Supporting Livehoods in Rural Kenya

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