Bangla-Pesa in Summary
Fight poverty and help Kenyans manage their own development. We're trying to create an empowering complementary community currency. The goverment of Kenya though, has wrongly accused us of forgery, not understanding how the currency works. This is a blow for poverty reduction and will severely disrupt our own lives. Our trial is on the 17th of July. Please can you help?
- Will Ruddick, founder of the Bangla-Pesa program was a physicist and economist in the US. He came to Kenya with the US Peace Corps and has been a researcher and development worker there since 2008. Will is part of a global movement for sustainable development focusing on Complementary Currencies (an internatinally recognized development tool).
- Bangla-Pesa helps Kenyans living on less than $1 a day by allowing micro-businesses to form a network that can trade even when they have no money.
- In only a short while we’ve seen a more than a 20% increase in local trade with this program. We hope to see an overall increase in local trade of more than 50% and see families meet their daily needs and rise out of poverty.
- In order to do this we must first help the founder and 5 other community members who are facing 7 years in prison under false allegations. This campaign will help pay legal fees and bring the program back on its feet.
What We Need & What You Get
- In addition to keeping the six out of jail we will relaunch the program and develop a mobile phone version of Bangla-Pesa that will open the system to anyone with a cell phone.
- We are happy to give contributors original copies of the Bangla-Pesa vouchers as well as color prints of the original hand-drawn artwork by Carol Opondo. They are wonderful collectors’ items!
- Any funds over the cost of the legal process will go into developing a mobile-phone system, revitalizing the program, and supporting the people living in the slums.
The full impact of allowing hundreds of mico-businesses in Kenya to trade freely with each other is a revolution in how we think about sustainable development and poverty reduction. These people have a huge untapped capacity and they only need the means to exchange it with each other. Bangla-Pesa puts development in the hands of the people and helps stabilize the local economy by allowing them to trade this excess capacity.
- These programs need to be studied and expanded around the world. Developing a modular mobile phone Bangla-Pesa system could help millions living in poverty.
- Allowing the 6 people to go to prison for this program is a failure in understanding and justice. It would set a horrible precedent for similar poverty reduction programs that have a proven track record - like Bancos-Palmas in Brazil. Help set them FREE!
- Will Ruddick has a 7 week old daughter that he wants to see grow up! And the other 5 community members facing trial all have families. Caroline Dama is a mother, Alfred Sigo a youth, Emma Onyango a grandmother, Rose Oloo a grandmother and Paul Mwololo Mwania a grandfather. There is no reason for these people to be put in prison.
Thomas H. Greco - "ending poverty is not at all pretentious. In fact, the creation of independent, locally controlled means of exchange (liquidity) is the only thing that can. It gets to the real roots of poverty - domination and exploitation from above."
For those who want to dig deeper into how Bangla-Pesa works to fight poverty - A technical research paper on Bangla-Pesa has just been made available http://www.iss.nl/fileadmin/ASSETS/iss/Research_and_projects/Conferences/CCS_June_2013/Papers/Will_Ruddick.pdf
Other Ways You Can Help
- Please make some noise about this! Tell your friends and family to contribute.
- With enough show of support this case could be dropped - so keep shouting and contacting the authorities.
- Use the sharing tools on this Indiegogo page.