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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 25 Kakamega June 2, 2011


Today I spent most of the day reviewing the process of starting an NGO in Kenya.  The easy part is applying to reserve a name.  The cost is only 500 Ksh.  Pick three potential names of the NGO with objectives and send it in.  Can be done online I bet my M-pesa account will work.  The next part of the process is to have a Constitution for the NGO.  I believe this to be the same as by-laws.  Sample Constitutions are provided to assist in forming your own.  Once a Constitution is made then a Form 3 and a Form 3 addendum must be filled out providing specific information on the NGO.  Then a filled out Form 1 stating the NGO contact person must be submitted.  Then we will need 3 top officials with documents and 2 official passport photo’s of each person.  Then a copy of the name reservation form duly approved and paid for.  Then 3 copies of the proposed NGO Constitution signed by 3 top officials and signed by one official on each page.  Then comes a copy of the minutes authorizing the filings of the NGO.  Processing fees are 11,000 Ksh if only in Kenya and 22,000 Ksh for NGO’s that is international in scope.  Lastly a copy of the proposed annual budget for the NGO.  After all this then you have to apply for duty and tax exemption 1000 Ksh each.  If you want to have a bank account for the NGO another application and 2000 Ksh fee.  Make sure nothing is changed because there are fees if you want to change something.  So once all this is done then anyone can work for the NGO for another 16,000 Ksh filling fee.  Annual return filing fees are only 1000 Ksh.  Why does it have to be so difficult to do God’s work?

I also went into downtown Kakamega to exchange some cash from the bank.  I went into the Co-operative bank here in Kakamega and the line was out the door.  I had been to the other two banks earlier and those lines were super long as well and I left.  All the ATM’s in Kakamega were out of cash.  Yesterday was a holiday and the President spoke to the nation.  I am not sure if he had anything good to say.  I did hear that he is declaring a state of emergency because of the drought that the maize supplies are seriously low and people are starving.  People are also upset about the Kenyan government giving billions in aid to Japan to help with their recovery from the tsunami.  I don’t know how to respond to that one.  So I do not know if today was some sort of run on the banks or just normal business all I know was the banks were packed.  Anyway I went into the Co-op bank because I needed some shillings to pay for some more nights in the guest house.  There was a currency exchange board lit up with all the exchange rates over on the side of the lobby.  Next to it was a security guard (the military are usually outside with machine guns) and I asked him where I needed to go to exchange dollars into shillings.  He did not seem to know which line to put me in so he started to ask around.  I stood there a moment and then he came back and told me to follow him.  The next thing I knew he was taking me to the front of the really long line and putting me at the next teller.  I instantly felt really bad and tried to explain to the security guard and teller that I can wait in line for my turn.  The teller said “no no” “no problem”.  I tried to plead one more time to go stand in line but the teller just pointed his hand to the opening in the window and I handed the teller two C-notes gave him my identification and after a couple of minutes he gave me 16,553 Ksh in assorted small notes and coins.  In fact he had taken deposit money from other tellers to give me.  The largest bank note in Kenya is a 1000 Ksh bill.  I only received two 1000’s and the rest were a huge wad of 500’s, 200’s, 100’s and 50’s.  This pile of money was inches thick.  I really did not want to stand there and count it but the force of habit I did it anyway.  There was no way this wad was going to fit in my wallet.  I folded it up and stuck it in my pocket.  I turned around and everyone was looking at me.  Talk about feeling uncomfortable and out of place I shouldn’t have gotten or deserved this preferential treatment.  The security guard was nice enough to stay with me during the whole transaction and then escorted me out the door.

After the bank I started heading back to the guest house but I wanted to first go and check the price of the fertilizer that will be needed for the passion fruit.  I stopped at an agricultural feed store and got a price of 3000 Ksh for about 100 pounds of NPK.  Today the sun was pretty hot so I then went to the Nakumatt bought a cold soda and a Mars ice cream bar.  My indulgence into that ice cream bar cost a whopping $3.75 and I ask how anyone here can enjoy a small cold treat.  Tomorrow I am just going to take another easy day, relax and hide.

Take care and God bless you all


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