Tags: commitment pooling, floods, slum, refugee, settlement, camps, dignity, sovereignty, CommitmentPooling


What labels are they given? Refugees, pilgrims, immigrants, expatriates, temporary workers, slum residents, squatters, impoverished, poor?

What are all the names given to people seeking refuge? Shelter, a home, a way to live, belonging. Everyone has ancestors that migrated, whether a few miles, 100s of miles, across continents etc. If we can't see the refugee within ourselves or at least as part of an extended family and heritage .... Then we're all blind.

Grassroots Economics Foundation has been working together with the Kenyan Red Cross and groups of Somalian, Ethiopia, Congolese, South Sudanese (often called ‘refugees’) from Dadaab, Kaliobeyei and Kakuma. We’ve learned a lot from them.

What are their homes called? Slums, Temporary shelters, Trailer Parks, Camps, Informal Settlements, Renters – having no nationally given right to the land you live and breath on.

The so called ‘refugee’ ‘camps’ are not camps at all – but multi generational, multi cultural pools of human commitment to living and working right where they are – they have no other place to go. This is the same int he so-called 'slums' of course. Most people there don’t remember any other life – as they grew up being wrongly labeled a refugee in homes of their own birth for generations - - and something else amazing we learned. The Somalians living in these areas remember something special - just as their parents and grandparents did, an ancient Somali tradition called Goob. Nearly identical to the Mweria’s from the Bantu language groups we see here on the coast of Kenya. The Ethiopians, South Sudanese, Congolese and Ugandans all also remember the SAME tradition called by different names - in acadamia they are called Rotational Labor Associations, at Grassroots Economics we call it a protocol #CommitmentPooling.

Groups of people living in these areas have remembered their traditions and created a host of service offerings to provide each other. They develop Community Asset Vouchers based on their committed services and support each other in rotations where groups hold themselves accountable and individuals can pull on the groups resources in order to grow and improve their farms and homes. Each voucher holder is given drawing rights from a communal pool.

  1. (Refugee Camps) = People living in Kakuma, Kaliobayei and Dadaab (within the borders of Kenya)
  2. (Informal Settlement/Slums) = People living in Kibera, Kawangware, Mukuru, Congo (within the borders of Kenya)

Here is how you can help:

  1. Use the hastag #CommitmentPooling to show your support

    1. #CommitmentPooling - To signal ourselves as unwilling participants and viewers of hegemony through domination

    2. #CommitmentPooling - To signify our readiness to shift from being passive enablers of domination to active participants in our mutual well being.

  2. Donate/Seed a pool that these groups have drawing rights from.

Commitment Pools allow contributions directly to these groups:

Read our 2023 report for a taste of the activities these groups are doing. (Rebuilding their society, farms, houses, greening the desert.) In that space - this is something far harder than I think most people sitting in front of a computer screen right now can even imagine.

  1. Dadaab ROLA Pool
  2. Turkana’s Kalobeyei and Kakuma ROLA Pool
  3. Nairobi Informal Settlement ROLA Pool

All these groups have and are going through an extremely hard times with rains this season. Yet they are offering support services to each other and their whole communities. They build trust and commitment wherever they go. They are grassroots economists remediating and healing their society. Even if you can’t donate consider exchanging your assets for theirs through the same Commitment Pools.

On each pool there is the possibility to Seed or Donate – you will need cUSD which you can purchase from the Valora App

This is seeding and enabling exchanging Directly - with vetted offering of service to help local communities. They have been trained in the Community Asset Vouchers, Visionary Process of Community Action Planning and Syn tropic Agroforestry. What is revoultionary about this is that these pools not only enable direct support to amazing community support groups - but that through these pools the groups can also exchange with eachother - without relying on scarse national currencies.

Note that you can contact [email protected] to support in other ways and as well to create your own Commitment Pool of services that support causes and people you care about. (The Sarafu.Network website will enable you to make your own pools soon - and already allows voucher creation! ) The 1st step is us all expressing our offerings in a formal commitment at Sarafu.Network (Community Asset Voucher, Gift Card, Loyalty Point) or Subscription.