Bangla-Pesa Market, Shoes and Permaculture

Finally! The Bangladesh Business Network Market Day was a big success. Bangla-Pesa members gathered together to sell their goods and invited the general public to take part. At first people were hesitant to bring their goods but after realizing that clients were coming, vendors went back to add more goods as what they had brought had all been sold out. The Master of Ceremony at the event did a great job by ensuring that the event remains fun and active. There were 27 buyers who attended the market event and bought from more than one person. All the goods sold on this day were worth 3,310 BP and was paid back with the equivalent amount in Kenyan Shillings. Some of the Band Pesa used by buyers were earned through emerging as winners in the competitions held during the event.

Nthoki Ndindu one of the vendors says, “I hope this continues every month because I have met new customers and they have said that they will be coming to buy things from my ‘kibanda’. This day has given me the opportunity to advertise my business.”

Frank Goya one of the market clients says, “I have never had the opportunity to buy something with Bangla Pesa but today I have. I feel happy about this and at least I now know that it is just like Kenyan shillings”.

All went well on the event apart from one thing that I noted; It is important to have a first aid kit just in any case minor accidents occur like when one is peeling a fruit using a knife. Also ‘in every market there is a mad man’. Some people just have to create conflicts out of nothing so it is advisable to have security around. I had to assign 3 youths from the community to help maintain peace in the event.

This is Francis Odengeya. He is a cobbler in Bangladesh and a member of the Bangla Business Network. He registered as a member in 2013 and has not stopped using Bangla Pesa ever since. His customers bring him Bangla Pesa for him to repair their shoes. His common price for shoe repair is Khs. 10. For this he accepts 5 Bangla-Pesa and 5 Kenyan Shillings. “I take this amount because I don’t need to buy stock often, I mostly use materials that I get from old ‘scrape’ shoes to repair shoes,” he says. “I eat chapatis and buy omena with the Bangla Pesa I collect from my customers.”

Permaculture report from Caroline Dama

Our work to help create food gardens around schools using Bangla-Pesa is still in progress. With the swales done the schools have been concentrating on adding dry grass and manure to have some fertile soil ready by January also the dry grass will act as a cover to ensure when it rains the soil stays moist so we could bring in some soil friendly organisms like millipedes, earth worms among others.

The schools are closing for the holidays so we spent the past week capacity building the children on how to build and maintain a nursery bed, why we need one, how to collect wildings from trees that are already in their environment, seed collection and agroforestry. We envision that by the time the schools open they will be able to hit the ground running. We have not done more as we are worried about the holidays and security especially of sprouting seedlings from nursery beds. Otherwise we are confident that we are laying the foundation through capacity building.