Tags: Kilifi, Food Movement, elders, youth, church, rural, urban, mesh, FOMO
The employment of community inclusion currency vouchers by different groups within Kilifi county keeps growing to build a connect economic commons to build a thriving community. We currently have a total of 5 groups with their own vouchers, as a form of curbing the economic challenges being faced by individual households. Below you will see how groups in urban and rural parts of Kilifi are pulling themselves out of the current economic crisis and building community.
MUUNGANO Elders Group (MUU VOUCHERS) In the Mnarani area of Kilifi, a group of Elders was formed in 2020 with a common objective of manning a community field. As a way of ensuring security in villages in Kenya, these Elders volunteer to take on different responsibilities ithat include conflict resolution, identification vetting, distribution of government resources, attending government meetings etc. They often receive cries from community members asking for relief food, school fees, money to buy medicines and other basic needs. Since they don't have enough financial resources, Grassroots Economics took 8 village leaders through Community Inclusion Currency training at the chief’s camp and organization’s headquarters, based on the community’s interest in the concept.
Our engagement with the group revealed that the community land they’re manning has been divided in different sections; land for lease, church, community social hall, chiefs office, public borehole, Mosque and the remaining part has been set aside for market activities. Based on the above information, the group was taken through resource mapping to help them identify how much abundance in goods and services they hold. Our second session involved taking them through voucher creation, which helped them understand what each member can offer and at what value. As a way of helping their community manage existing debt and avoid future debts by getting access to basic needs, the group created their own community Vouchers called Muungano (MUU) deployed and launched in the month of August. Their symbol is Muu; 1 Muu is equivalent to 1 tomato which has a 10 KSh market value. Their vouchers are backed by committed and audited goods and services and have been endorsed by the area Chief.
Launching of the MUU Vouchers together with OneProject.org team. Photo by Joyce Wacheke
Since then, there have been consistent meetings in the form of market days every Friday where Muungano members carry committed goods and services to exchange with one another using both their Muu Vouchers and KSH. This activity has drawn attention to many other members of the community who joined the fun by presenting their own goods and services. In order for them to get MUU vouchers, groups that are yet to have their own usually accept MUU vouchers for their goods and services or buy in cash at a discount. Since the launch of the MUU vouchers the group has recruited other members to grow their network from 8 to 14 members and they continue to absorb more. Their trade volumes as of now stands at a total of 215 transactions and the vision of having a community market is becoming more visible.
The muungano Group elders have set the pace for the rest of the community to follow and as a result they have guided the birth of the following groups:-
MNARANI ENTERTAINMENT YOUTH GROUP (MYEG VOUCHERS) Mnarani Entertainment Youth Group consists of youths in the community doing different activities such as Graphic design, cyber services, drivers, plumbers, mason, and bead works just to mention a few. Some of them are the sons of the village elders. The group received their voucher recently and are looking forward to launching it. Their physical meetings have been challenging to organize due to differences in working hours so they've decided to go digital and form a whatsapp group to improve on communication, networking and planning.
RIGHTEOUS SEED (RIGHT VOUCHERS) Righteous Seed Enterprises started using Sarafu as a training token in early 2020. The group comprises members of the same church but in different branches and locations.Their objectives are worshiping together, offering adult education, and encouraging communal farming. They meet every Sunday after their normal service to discuss other matters pertaining growth and development. Members of this group look forward to launching their vouchers in a week's time so they can start incorporating Market Day activities into their Sunday meetings.
Righteous group training at Grassroots Economics HQs
Their participation has involved attending Muungano market days carrying goods to familiarize with the existing vouchers and trade with the locals.
MTONGANI GROUP (MTONGA VOUCHERS) Mtongani is a group in the rural part of Kilifi county with a total number of 30 members brought together with the mission to restore/conserve mangrove along the KIlifi creek. Some of their other activities include beekeeping, and tourism. The group has been mandated these tasks by the Kenya Wildlife Society and the Marine Times Authority. Their MTONGA voucher is backed by committed goods and services and have so far been used to trade amongst themselves and in their tourism sector, with the willingness to accept vouchers for Mangrove seedlings.
Future plans for the group include rewarding the effort of members who take on different duties with MTONGA vouchers from their community fund. This makes it so that all the expired tokens deducted through demurrage and received on their community fund don’t go to waste. So far their total number of transactions stand at 610 due to its high number of holders/users with more members still enrolling to their Network. Ngala Chivatsi, a community member states, “Mtonga vouchers have enabled me to gain more customers for my fish and for the vision of the voucher I would like the network to grow by training and enrolling most of our community members especially shops, farmers, for us to have varieties of goods and services”
Mavuno is an upcoming group that is about to receive their vouchers.The group has been joining other groups like Muu, Right, Mtonga, Myeg during market days to learn.
Mavuno Group Training. Photo by Emmanuel Mbui
Joint Market Day by Mnarani, Mtongani, Mavuno, Righteous Seed.
Food Movement (FoMo VOUCHERS)
The first business voucher in Kilifi following is the FoMo voucher that the Food Movement is using to market their social regenerative initiative dubbed the Green Heart of Kenya. Food movement (FOMO) is an outta town eatery joint in Kilifi plantation that has since become the first business to create and use community currency vouchers based on their interaction with blockchain enthusiasts. The vouchers are for the purpose of raising funds while promoting a loyal clientele by offering regular clients discounted prices and an experience interacting with digital vouchers.
MESH NETWORK (iNethi Mesh System)
The https://www.inethi.org.za/ system is a wireless mesh network that employs any blockchain-based community currency vouchers. In Kilifi, this system combines local offline content with internet - integrated with an access code that is purchasable using any Sarafu Network Vouchers. Members also host wifi antennas in addition to offering other goods and services. The network is a way to decentralized service provision while providing an incentive structure for the maintenance of the commons thanks to a collaboration between Grassroots Economics and iNethi teams. Come try the wifi!