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Remittance Justice Interview with Pascal Vuvu, a member of ACORN Canada

by Kate Ayalogu

Pascal Vuvu is a Nairobi, Kenyan citizen who migrated to Canada on June 12th, 2006. He has been using remittance services ever since he moved to Canada, taking care of his loved ones back home and sending funds to his Orphaned cousins in Uganda. On average Depending on how much Pascal saves from working, he sends approximately $100.00 CD abroad using services such as Western Union and Money Mart through Canada Post. He is charged $16.00 by Western Union for every $50.00 to $100.00 he sends, not including exchange rates. The cheaper alternative is to use Money Mart, which charges him $10.00 to send $50.00 to $100.00 abroad; however since banks are only found in Urban areas, Pascal must factor in travel expenses (transportation costs) in order for his family to attain the accesses they need to receive the funds.

 According to Pascal, “it’s too expensive for me to send money to my mum because that will mean I have to send money to one of the relatives in Nairobi who will have to travel about 400 kilometers home.” He continues saying that his cousin will have to spend more than what he has spent sending money home.

 “Fare from Nairobi to my rural home area is Kshs. 3000.00 two ways, and sending $50.00 dollars is equivalent to Kshs. 3000.00. For someone to travel or take money to my mum I have to pay for their fare as well which makes it more expensive” He adds that relying on another to pass on these funds to his mother is risky due to theft.

 Pascal could be saving anywhere from $11.00 to $20.00 from remittances were the fees cheaper. This could mean a savings of up to $100.00 a year, if not more, which would contribute to his mother’s, orphaned cousins’, and his safety and security.

 Money regulation is very important for us since we assist in stimulating the economy back home. The money we send assist with either medical services or temporary employment – Pascal Vuvu

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