“We didn’t expect that it would mushroom to this extent,” says Dzeha. “Men have joined. Young people have joined. Almost all the recipients that I talk to belong to a group and are looking forward to starting a mwerya.”
If we think of the household or homestead as a small community – where we all have services we are offering each other – then creating promises toward those offerings (like doing chores) could result in receiving other offerings (like a limited allowance of internet or screen time). This sounds a lot like an economy. The word economy stems from the Greek – household management.
Mweria is an ancient social contract of mutual aid – there is a debt to be paid by the person receiving the support – which is paid as they help others. It is a beautiful form of reciprocal exchange.
It is wonderful to be among a community of practice that is connecting and adapting financial instruments to social and bio-regional regeneration.
Speaking to Angeline from the Legio Maria church group, she had this to say, “Sarafu Network has blessed my home. I no longer miss a meal since we have vegetables in the farm throughout the seasons. I enjoy working on our farm as I am sure of putting food on the table for my family and even getting more to sell to my neighbors.”
A long time ago - before there was ‘money’ in the form of national currencies, there was credit. Specifically promises, commitments, agreements, vouchers, IOUs, and in general trust. These older forms of credit are still all around us! We interact with credit in so many ways in our life – they might as well be the invisible air we are breathing. But once you start learning to spot credit you will seeeeee it everywhere.