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Free film screening to explore impact of Universal Basic Income in Kenya

Presented by the UBI Lab Network, 'Free Money' looks at what happened when everyone in one village was given an unconditional income.

A free online film screening this Thursday evening will explore what happened when everyone in a single village was given a Universal Basic Income.

Residents of the Kenyan village of Kogutu are each receiving around $22 from US-based NGO GiveDirectly, in a trial that is expected to last twelve years.

The documentary 'Free Money' explores the effects of the payments, and how they were received by villagers. The film will be screened alongside a Q&A with its director by the UBI Lab Network this Thursday.

Universal Basic Income, sometimes just known as a Basic Income, is a regular payment given to everybody regardless of income, wealth or work.

Advocates of the idea, such as the UBI Lab Network, point to evidence showing that such payments could transform people's health, wellbeing, employment prospects and financial security during a crisis.

"It's wonderful to be able to support this documentary ahead of it's release on Netflix Africa next month," Jonny Douglas of the UBI Lab Network told Now Then.

"I'm really looking forward to the Q&A that Saraphina Ambale, co-founder of UBI Lab Kenya, will be hosting after screening. We've got Lauren DeFilippo, one of the films directors and Caroline Teti from GiveDirectly answering questions."

Kogutu is just one of hundreds of towns and villages around the world that are running Universal Basic Income programmes funded by $30 million from GiveDirectly.

Produced by DeFilippo and fellow filmmaker Sam Soko, the film follows villagers over three years and studies the consequences of a Basic Income – both intended and unintended.

The film also features GiveDirectly co-founder Michael Faye, who was drawn to the concept of UBI after studying previous charities that failed in their missions to alleviate poverty.

Faye and his colleagues at the organisation believe a possible solution is to give money directly to disadvantaged people around the world, rather than to funnel it through traditional development NGOs.

'Free Money' screens on Thursday 24 August at 7pm.
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