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Could universal basic income change aid forever?

For four years, the villagers of Magawa in rural western Kenya have all received £17 every month as part of a long-term study of universal basic income. With eight years left to run on the trial, the scheme is already showing signs that it could transform aid

By Tristan McConnell  

For Benter Wandola, a 67-year-old great-grandmother in a hot pink and purple headscarf, the cash has meant a hitherto unimagined freedom from the entrenched patriarchy of rural life in Kenya ©Tristan McConnell

The seventh of every month is a joyful date for the people of Magawa, a diffuse village lost in the lushness of rural western Kenya, which lacks electricity, paved roads and mains water. The villagers’ phones ping in unison telling them that another instalment of £17 has been transferred to their accounts. It’s been this way…

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