The Kenya Red Cross, the largest humanitarian organization in Kenya in conjunction with the Danish Red Cross and Grassroots Economics, has launched a basic income system called Sarafu Network to distribute the blockchain-based Sarafu token to anyone in Kenya.
The 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 by distributing income tokens.
The Kenya Red Cross society’s 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.
Will Ruddick, Founder and CEO of Grassroots Economics, the organization behind the 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.”
Sarafu Network is a Community Inclusive Currency (CICs) which 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, increasing productivity, promoting a supportive and saving culture, and the registered members can access and afford necessities.
When combined with Cash Transfers and aid disbursements, CIC transaction data serves to identify people in need and those who are working to support their community.
For businesses, they can also receive the token for goods and services. The more they receive weekly for goods sold or services rendered, the more Sarafu rewards they will receive weekly