The Kenya Red Cross, in conjunction with the Danish Red Cross and Grassroots Economics, have launched a basic income system called Sarafu Network to distribute the blockchain-based Sarafu token to anyone in Kenya.
Sarafu Network is a basic income program that aims to empower and support vulnerable Kenyan households by creating a cushion in times of financial crisis through the distribution of Sarafu tokens.
This move comes after the impressive success of the pilot program in 2020 which saw over 40, 000 households and small businesses join the Sarafu Network following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2020 drive by the Kenya Red Cross has seen over 200 million Sarafu (equivalent to KES 200 million) circulated among users to support each other to trade food, water, education, labor, and more.
Speaking to BitKE on the new initiative, Will Ruddick, Founder and CEO of Grassroots Economics, the organization behind the Sarafu Network, said:
“People think basic income means the government or donors airdropping national currency everywhere. Instead of waiting for that to happen, Kenyans are showing the world how Community Driven Basic Income can work.”
– Will Ruddick, CEO, Grassroots Economics Foundation
To use the service:
Dial *384*96# (Safaricom) or *483*46# (Airtel)
Choose your preferred launguage
Enter a secret PIN
Upon completion of the above 3 steps, you will automtically receive 50 Sarafu (KES 50) and can immediately start sharing it with those in need.
For businesses, they can also receive Sarafu for goods and services. The more they receive weekly for goods sold or services rendered, the more Sarafu rewards they will receive weekly.
About Sarafu Network
Sarafu Network is a basic income program that aims to empower and support vulnerable Kenyan households by creating a cushion in times of financial crisis through the distribution of Sarafu tokens. The charitable acceptance and usage of Sarafu tokens by both businesses and communities helps vulnerable households receive support and in turn helps local economies to keep moving during a crisis or when Kenyan Shillings are lacking (like barter trade). Note there is no exchange for Sarafu and Kenyan Shillings.
The program is free and open for anyone in Kenya to join and is currently most active in Kwale, Kilifi, Mombasa, Nairobi and Siaya. Users and businesses that don’t need Sarafu are encouraged to share their basic income of Sarafu with vulnerable households and to accept Sarafu for their goods and services.