Response to Stephen/Alternative Currencies in Africa (linked to literacy)
- Dear Stephen and All,Hello and immense thanks for these contacts! Henry Migingo is already well-known to some of us, as he is affiliated with OVF Kenya and Africa, and he and Sam do know each other, so that's a good start! The other contacts are most welcome too, and it does look like both are in Kenya now (from the addresses).I looked at your site, having just started to follow this alternative currency issue, and posted the S. African affiliate info to Sam, and on a couple of our related forums. Since the HQ of one of my own organizational affiliations is in Kenya, I will be interested to see how this project might serve as a possible model in that situation too. Also to investigate others based outside Africa, though each region and country does have its own cultural specifics, which can make cross-over challenging in some respects.Sam, Henry, Dr. Odhiambo, Silvano and all working in or linked with Kenya or Africa, it will be exciting to see how we might go about developing some common goals and linkages, and possibly projects, together. I will say that alternative currencies already exist in many places, perhaps not formally and known by this name, but existing due to the realities of life at the grassroots. To gather examples of what already exists and build from there may be the first step, and it sounds like Dr. Odhiambo might be doing some of this now.In this regard, I am also thinking of KAIPPG (my org... www.kaippg.org ) and its agricultural/nutrition program, wherein people help one another cooperatively with a variety of tasks and services, as well as with pooled and traded goods and skills. This is in part due to the heavy twin burdens of poverty and HIV/AIDS, and now in some places, famine conditions.People who are too sick to labor in the fields are cared for by a small group of family and non-family members working as a unit. In turn, those who take their place in the fields are supported in other ways. Produce grown is sometimes traded for other good and services, and--in conditions of malnutrition--is even preferred to other forms of payment. Some produce grown is saved and used as "seed capital" (literally) for following years, this partly for the small group units and also for the larger community.There has been much focus lately on finding ways to care for HIV/AIDS caregivers, and designing systems whereby people who give of their time, labor, energy should themselves be cared for in some ways, "rewarded" in a sense with time off to rest, or someone looking after their children, or being taught how to read or shown how to use a mobile phone or computer. In S. Africa, the idea of rewarding caregivers--mainly women--with some form of compensation is taking hold. I think that is being seen as money, though other forms of compensation are equally valuable, especially in areas where 90% of the women have little to no literacy skills.One big challenge is to help young women (usually in their teens) to continue their education, as they increasingly are called upon to care for their siblings and oftentimes their sick parents. This challenge dovetails with the literacy project we have been speaking about, and links with community currencies in a direct way, as these young women need skills-building and time to learn, which they could more easily get if there were a system in place to compensate them for some of the time spent caring for their families. In this case, with time itself, and possibly offers by community members to fill in as caregivers for brief periods, to watch siblings, or to themselves help to teach the young women.These are just some of the ideas and uses for alternative systems or ways of doing things, which in some cases can be layered over, threaded through, and/or integrated into traditional community systems and approaches. And in some cases linked with whatever systems are in place in the contemporary era, to address new challenges such as HIV/AIDS.With many thanks for all inputs on this important subject, and look forward to working on this with everyone! All best wishes, Janet (Feldman, kaippg@... )Greetings,
I would like to contribute a number of contacts in Kenya:
Henry Migingo migingo@... - who is in our cyfranogi group
if I am not mistaken.
Silvano Borruso silbor@... - who is writing on alternative
economics and wrote a program for a school coupon system.
PROF. THOMAS R. ODHIAMBO, Honorary President of the African Academy of
Sciences: aas@..., amdjo@... - who is interested
in cultural / traditional economic systems and was interested in an article
i co-wrote with Bernard Lietaer on "Sustaining Cultural Vitality in a
Globalizing World - The Balinese Example, which is found
Regarding the 2006 MicroGrant Program for the Promotion of Complementary
Currency Systems, I am giving a grant to Sarvodaya in Sri Lanka for their
work to introduce CC systems in the tsunami-affected areas there, and have
recently received a number of requests that are still under consideration
according to our criteria. I put up 1,000 USD of my own savings for this,
I hope that other donors will also join with me.
A number of the systems that I would propose for application in Africa
would cost about 25 USD to implement. It would not make sense to
encourage systems that would require donor funding in order to implement,
however in certain cases such support is necessary.
What we would like to see is what the group requesting a MicroGrant has
already done to promote the implementation of Complementary Currency
Systems in their country, and what they have done to build a network for
these activities in their country, along the lines of contacting and
linking with the people I have listed above.
Examples of activities that can be done that would demonstrate committment
to implementing a complementary currency system would involve translation
of documents to local languages, community meetings and marketplaces,
erecting a Community Noticeboard of Offers and Requests, things that
generally cost more in time than in money.
I agree that complementary currency systems are not, at all, the only way
to go. Here in Indonesia we are working hard to promote cultural /
traditional economic systems, systems of community cooperation,
participatory planning and budgeting, community social, environmental and
economic mapping, household and small enterprise accounting and economic
literacy, etc. Of course there are many things that can be done.
Asia Program Coordinator
At 11:21 PM 1/16/2006, you wrote:
>I had a conversation with Wahu Kaara, when she passed through here on ahttp://www.appropriate-economics.org/2006_MicroGrant_Fund_Complementary_Currencies.htm
>speaking tour, and it seemed from her that there already was a strong
>interest in alternative community exchanges in Kenya and toward seeking
>out alternative economic paradigms, not necessarily "complementary"
>systems. It seemed also that those opposed to illegitimate national debt
>would be very friendly to the right sort of community currency system, and
>would be receptive to economic literacy efforts.
>On Mon, 16 Jan 2006 09:57:42 -0500, Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@...> wrote:
> > Samwel,
> > Yes, I imagine that a community currency might open up a lot of
> > possibilities for your work in Kenya. Please see below an application
> > form from
> > for applying for up to 500 USD support from Stephen DeMeulenaere of the
> > Strohalm Foundation.http://www.complementarycurrency.org/helpdesk.html , which includes a
> > They also have a nice list of steps to take in creating a currency
> > community self-assessment. This would also be good for us in thinking
> > about the work that you'll do these next couple of months for our lab.
> > Let's start to think about that!
> > Andrius
> > Andrius Kulikauskas
> > Minciu Sodas
> > http://www.ms.lt
> > ms@...
> > +370 (5) 264 5950http://www.appropriate-economics.org/materials.html.
> > Vilnius, Lithuania
> > 2006 MicroGrant Fund for
> > Complementary Currency Systems
> > in Asia, Africa and Latin America
> > The Microgrant Fund for Complementary Currency Systems began in 2005 as
> > an initiative by Stephen DeMeulenaere of the Strohalm Foundation to
> > encourage the implementation of systems in Asia, Africa and Latin
> > America. In 2006, the fund will be increased to up to $500 USD in
> > funding.
> > Proposals can be sent in at any time. Initial Proposals should be no
> > longer than 5 pages in length and must be submitted in English, French
> > or Spanish.
> > Proposals will be evaluated according to the criteria of Feasibility,
> > Simplicity, Low-Cost Implementation, High-Impact Results and
> > Replicability in other areas. This means that Proposals that are most
> > likely to receive funding will demonstrate that Complementary Currency
> > Systems are effective, low-cost/high-impact programs that are simple in
> > design and easy to implement and replicate in other areas.
> > The proposal should follow the format presented below. A final report
> > on the activities and all documents produced during the project is
> > expected.
> > Please send the proposal as an MS Word or Open Office document (maximum
> > size 500k) to:
> > Stephen DeMeulenaere
> > Asia Program Coordinator
> > Strohalm Foundation
> > Bali, Indonesia
> > stephen_dem@... <mailto:stephen_dem@...>
> > Examples of programs can be found in the Implementation section at
> > For further information, visit:http://www.appropriate-economics.org/>,
> > www.appropriate-economics.org <
> > www.complementarycurrency.org <http://www.complementarycurrency.org/>,
> > www.strohalm.org <http://www.strohalm.org/>
> > _Format for Initial Proposals_
> > 1. General Information
> > Organization / Group Name:
> > Name of Person Responsible:
> > Telephone:
> > Email:
> > Web Address:
> > Mailing Address:
> > 2. Title of Complementary Currency Project:
> > 3. Brief Background on the Individual/Group submitting the
> > Application:
> > 4. Any affiliations between the Group and other organizations:
> > (/ie//. Political, Religious or Organizational affiliations.)/
> > 5. Start Date & Duration of the Project:
> > 6. Brief Description of Project:
> > 7. Goal and Purpose of the Project:
> > 8. Activities of the Project: (/schedule of Activities and Dates
> > and Locations./)
> > 9. Performance Indicators: (ie. /number of people who will come,
> > target groups , topics, other quantitative, measurable indicators of the
> > impact of the activities./)
> > 10. Outputs of the Project: (/ie. what will happen as a result of the
> > project, what people will learn, be able to do, documents or materials
> > to be produced, etc. )/.
> > 11. Demonstration of Feasibility, Simplicity, Low-Cost Implementation,
> > High-Impact Results and Replicability of the Program in other areas:
> > 12. Local Partners: (/will this group be working with local partners?
> > If so, please name them./)
> > 13. Total Budget: (/please be specific about budget amounts according
> > to the Schedule of Activities and the number of persons involved.)/
> > 14. Other Assistance given to this Group and/or Project: (/ie.
> > previously funded projects and Assistance given by other donor
> > individuals or organizations/.)
> > 15. Any other information you would like to add in support of your
> > proposal: