In an unbelievably heavy handed move, the Government of Kenya last week arrested an American aid worker and five local micro-entrepreneurs for operating a complementary exchange system in a poor suburb of Mombasa.
The recently launched Bangla-Pesa voucher system is intended to provide additional liquidity that makes it possible for unmet needs of local residents to be satisfied out of their own excess productive capacity. In just two weeks of operation, the amount of goods and services traded among the members of the Bangla-Pesa network increased substantially. Now, the program is shut down and six people are facing seven years in prison. Why? Is this simply a case of ignorance on the part of government officials, or an attempt to keep poor people poor and dependent upon inadequate or even exploitative systems that are controlled by bankers and politicians ? The answer to that will become clear as this case develops. Your help is needed to get this matter resolved in favor of freedom, justice, and rationality. Here is the official appeal from American aid worker Will Ruddick.
Dear Friends, Family and Supporters,
End Africa’s dependence on Aid through Complementary Currencies. Eradicate poverty and keep six people from seven years in prison.
Click here to support this program and watch our videos.
Bangla-Pesa, a complementary currency program in one of Kenya’s poorest slums, needs your help. This innovative program gave participants the ability to create their own means of exchange so micro-business owners could trade what they have for what they need. In two weeks, the program already showed great success. But the Central Bank of Kenya has deemed the program illegal and is pursuing a legal battle against its organizers, despite enthusiastic community support.
These six people face charges that could put them in prison for as much as seven years:
· Alfred Sigo a youth activist.
· Emma Onyango a grandmother and community business owner.
· Rose Oloo a grandmother and community business owner.
· Paul Mwololo a grandfather and community business owner.
· Caroline Dama a mother and volunteer.
· Will Ruddick a new father and program founder.
We need help raising funds for legal fees and to bring this program back to life so it can help people throughout Africa in expanded form via mobile phones.
Our goal is to raise 47,000 Euros over the next 47 days.
Click here to read more and donate:
Spread the word!
Will Ruddick, Bangla-Pesa Program Founder