IRTA Assists Non- Profit Kenyan Complementary Currency Group Facing Forgery Charges
Six members of the non-profit community based organization known as Koru-Kenya, http://koru.or.ke were recently arrested and are facing seven years in jail on forgery charges resulting from the creation of a complementary currency called Bangla-Pesa. The Bangla-Pesa program was developed to fight poverty in slum areas in an effort to allow impoverished Kenyans to play a role in managing their own development and recovery. The Bangla-Pesa helps Kenyans who are living on less than $1 a day by allowing micro-businesses to form a network that can trade even when they have no money.
IRTA’s President, Annette Riggs wrote a letter to the Kenyan authorities on June 4th, 2013 asserting the validity of the Bangla-Pesa program by saying, “It is our opinion that the Bangla-Pesa vouchers operate in the same way as hundreds of other systems all over the world. Its purpose is to help facilitate more exchange within the Bangladesh community and help the local economy.”
To read Annette Riggs entire letter, click HERE.
Annette Riggs and IRTA’s Executive Director Ron Whitney attended the 2nd Conference on Community and Complementary Currencies (CCSConf) in The Hague on June 21st, 2013. The Conference organized a petition to the Kenyan authorities requesting the charges be dropped against the team from Bangla-Pesa on the grounds that complementary currencies are “recognized cooperative instruments used globally by local groups, municipalities and NGO’s for social, solidarity, economic and environmental goals.”
To sign the the CCSConf petition go here: http://koru.or.ke/petition
To make a donation to the Bangla-Pesa program go here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bangla-pesa
Thank you for your time and attention regarding this most important matter.