Five of the world’s richest personalities have been secretly donating billions of shillings used to help some of the most needy households in Kenya. They include MacKenzie Scott, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Sam Bankman-Fried and Jack Dorsey. The donations have been made silently through the GiveDirectly, a non-profit organization.
The NGO operates in East Africa and helps families living in extreme poverty by making unconditional cash transfers to them via mobile phone. GiveDirectly transfers funds primarily to people in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda.
WoK has listed five of these billionaires below.
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MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is among the five philanthropists who have been donating fund to help out needy households in Kenya.
In addition to donations made to GiveDirectly, Ms Scott also announced that she is giving away more than USD 2.7 billion to 286 organizations, including Amref Health Africa. The funds have been used to support work across Africa, building the capacity of local health workers and health systems.
Other beneficiaries of her donation include schools, art organizations, and organizations dedicated to female empowerment, health and global poverty.
Tesla Chief Executive Officer, Elon Musk, who has been named as the World’s richest person, also donates to GiveDirectly to help out poor people in society.
According to an article published on Forbes, the billionaires’ donations have jumped to Ksh. 35 billion since 2020. Forbes also revealed that at the height of the crypto boom in February 2021, Musk sent GiveDirectly Ksh. 1.1 million (USD10,000) worth of Dogecoin.
30-year-old crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried is also a silent donor contributing to the alleviation of the lives of poor and needy people across Kenya. For all his wealth, Bankman-Fried has stated that he intends to only keep 1% of all his earnings, and donate the rest in Bitcoin or in cash.
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Bill Gates, co-founder of tech giant company Microsoft has made donations of up to billions of Kenya Shillings towards different initiatives in Kenya through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Earlier this month, the Foundation announced USD 2 million in new grants for HIV/AIDS Prevention efforts in Kenya.
The foundation has also invested in tools, technologies, and market infrastructure to help smallholder farmers in Kenya improve their productivity and income.
Former Twitter boss, Jack Dorsey often makes donations to GiveDirectly and other humanitarian organizations. Last year, Dorsey announced a USD 5 million grant in support of COVID-19 relief efforts in East Africa.
The grant was aimed to support efforts to meet critical educational needs and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on students, teachers and families living in Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.
Other than the five, other billionaires have also joined the philanthropic drive in Kenya and other African nations. They include include Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, who has donated funds of up to Ksh. 6.8 billion to GiveDirectly since 2012.
The founders of graphic design startup Canva, Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, are also contributing to this kitty which intends to expand and help more families in Kenya.
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