Retreat and Renewal

September marked the first official renewal event for Bangla-Pesa after more than 2+ years in circulation (Starting in May 2013). The event featured the neighboring community's Ng'ombeni-Pesa, several local politicians, the Chief's office, children's choir, several schools and members. New Bangla-Pesa was printed in Germany (with the support of Stichting DOEN), with a new expiration date of December 2016.

At the renewal event each active member could return up to 400 expired Bangla-Pesa to be exchanged Bangla-Pesa with new designs and dates. The sum of 400 minus the amount they exchange goes directly into the community fund, to award those members who were able to collect 400 before the event and top back up the community fund. Over 8,000 Bangla-Pesa was exchanged at the event and we expect much more over the next week. Also presented was a new user guide and a Business Directory for members of the network.

Also in September was our first formal retreat/workshop with three Community Currency Trading Networks in Nairobi. The workshop had 30 attendees from the committees and key members and stakeholders from networks in Kibera (Lindi-Pesa), Kangemi (Kangemi-Pesa) and Kawangware (Gatina-Pesa) including Nyendo-lernen a program focused on schools in the area. The retreat covered:

  • The current situation of Complementary and Community Currencies world wide
  • Strategies for new business creation including permaculture based school gardens.
  • Challenges and Discussion around Community Currency usage
  • Sharing and examples from members and school groups on how Community Currency is being used effectively.
  • Study of the user guide, field guide and directories
  • Roles and responsibilities of Business Network Committees
  • Savings and Loan programs
  • Planning until the end of the year.

Thanks for our guest speakers Guida Santos, Tristan Dissaux, Robin Gerbaux and Irmgard Wutte.

Finally we are happy to be in anticipation of our first school based food garden business model as part of the CC trading network. We hope this garden can feed more than 400 students and the community around them, and be something we can take to the over 20+ schools currently using Community Currency.