Mary Abagi is a 63-year-old widow who has spent most of her life eking out a living by growing crops on a tiny plot of land in her Kenyan village. Then, last fall, Abagi learned that the village had been picked for an unusual experiment that promised to change her life.

    An American charity called GiveDirectly is giving every adult in the village $22 every month for the next 12 years. Abagi's first thought: "I will save the money to buy a goat." And to do that, Abagi has turned to a special kind of savings club the villagers call a "merry-go-round."

    Abagi's club has 10 members — almost all older women like her. Every month, almost as soon as they get their payment from GiveDirectly, the members meet to put $10 each into a pot. Each month, a different member takes home the pot — $100. That is why they call it a merry-go-round.


Minority communities who are underserved by the banking system did this forever in the United States. They didn't have anyone dropping free money in but it's a pretty old system in the states.

posted by user-inactivated: 699 days ago