Stories of impact from the hands that created your UBUNTU Made products.
Juliah is one of our UBUTNU Made Mums from a town called Kairo in the Murang’a District. After many years of hardship, Juliah found her way to UBUNTU Made through her strength and desire to better her children’s lives.
Juliah’s story begins when she married her husband at a young age of 21 while pregnant with her first child. At that time her husband was a driver for long distance buses that piled the Nairobi to the Kisii route. Her marriage became abusive and dangerous when her husband lost his job and resulted to alcohol.
Even after the life she was subjected to, Juliah claims that her strength and beautiful outlook on life is a result of the hardships and difficulties that she faced at a younger age.
After the birth of her second son, Juliah and her family moved to Maai Mahiu. At the age of 24 she started a small grocery business and opened a dairy kiosk in the local market area. The business prospered and picked up quickly due to her hard work and people skills. After much success, Juliah’s husband demanded her to give him all of the earnings from her business. Though her family needed this money to put food on the table, her husband used it towards his alcoholism instead. After many months of this tough situation, Juliah was trapped in a state of depression. She viewed her circumstances as a concrete way of life, and struggled with the idea of a happier ending.
As Juliah cared for her sons, she also had to work long hours at the market. While she worked as both the primary source of income and the primary caretaker of her children, she received no help from her husband. All the while, her husband fell deeper and deeper into alcoholism.
After becoming unemployed due to an injury, fate decided to step in. Juliah came across a female security guard who offered her employment with a company called Cobra Security. She viewed the opportunity as a God send and was ecstatic that she would have a way to feed her family. Eventually she interviewed with the company and was granted to work the day shift at the CTC International main office.
Though she viewed her new job as a blessing, her husband did not. He was outraged with the idea of her being a security guard, and threw his family out on the street.
Being homeless with two children, Juliah sought refuge at her mother-in law’s house. After three months of being a security guard, she was hired to work for UBUTNU Made as one of the Mum’s. Despite her desperation and dire circumstances, her tables turned drastically.
“I view the Cobra Security Company as a stepping stone to my success.”
On January 3rd, 2013 Juliah began a new chapter in her life. Through UBTUNU Made, she was employed full time, and received training with a treadle machine. She earned a substantial amount of money through UBUNTU Made and was able to pay for her children’s daycare, clothes, and food.
Once her husband heard of Juliah’s accomplishments, he pleaded her to take him back. He convinced her that he was turning over a new leaf and thus needed her to take out a loan for a business plan that would make them rich. In her moment of weakness, Juliah took out a loan of kshs. 50,000 (521 USD) and gave him all of it. He then travelled to Mombasa and has been out of the picture ever since.
In retrospect, Juliah views this as the breaking point for her success. This final straw determined her to better herself for her children’s lives. She managed to pay off the loan and took her children to a good school. She then took out a second loan and purchased a piece of land at Kshs. 160,000 (1,667 USD). She built a picturesque three-bedroom home for her and her children. She is thrilled and relieved that her past did not prevent her from having a brighter future, and she believes it will only get better from here. She is grateful that she has learned valuable skills from UBUNTU Made and that her life was changed for the better. She thanks UBUNTU and it’s generous friends, customers, and supporters for investing in offering a sustainable way of life for women such as herself. She now smiles with pride at the hope she has for a cheerful future for her family.
“I now more than exist! I am living!”