A Letter from Jeremiah
Co-Founder and Kenya Director, Ubuntu Life Foundation
Hello my dear friends and Happy New Year!
2020 is here with us and I would want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year full of joy and blessings! I am full of joy as I share our 2019 journey very briefly as you have been instrumental in all our great experiences.
You enabled us to create jobs! We are always reminded to live a life of purpose. It’s one thing to pursue a purposeful life in how we live and it’s another thing to give joy and purpose to another person, someone may be you have never met. We have many who wake up every morning full of purpose in life because they have a job through Ubuntu. We grew our number of employees last year to over 100 - we are so happy that they can live a life of dignity and pride as they watch their lives grow. Food on the table, good education for their children and finally becoming homeowners, just to mention a few of the things that we celebrate from the jobs. Not just for women but the growth in 2019 saw more men join our organization to bring a balance to our organization like never before.
A happy factory. Not only did we get more employees in 2019 but we celebrated the ability to keep our cohesive culture that is full of joy. We had a social audit done to allow us to work for bigger brands. Not only did we pass the audit but the auditor said the factory is full of happy workers. Our employees expressed their personal growth and a good environment that allows them to look forward to coming to work every day. This culture does not come easy but we are always intentional to make sure the jobs we create are meaningful.
Business growth. 2019 also brings great joy to me after seeing the major growth of our enterprises. Our water business doubled its revenue as we continued to serve more hotels with our water. Our cafe also continues to serve many tourists passing through our town as we continue to share our impact in the community. Our fashion brand continues to do well locally - it was amazing to see locals and expatriates enjoy our products in all the pop ups and events that we did in 2019.
Celebrating little wins! The first ever graduation for our children with special needs was definitely my highlight for the year. Parents full of tears of joy seeing their children able to walk for the first time, able to talk and just independently do activities of daily living. What a day!! The graduation was attended by very inspiring people, both in our community and from the government. It was a joy to witness this moment and I am looking forward to celebrating more milestones for our children this year.
Children Wellness Center. We broke ground to our very special building to serve children with special needs in December. If there is anything I am looking forward to in 2020 it’s the completion of this center. We will be able to serve over 600 children with special needs and close to 2000 children with neurological challenges when this center is fully operational. It will be a huge success to have a proper building and proper equipment that will fill our therapy rooms.
I want to thank our Tribe members for standing with us in 2019. It could not have been the same without your support. You are our heroes and we really appreciate your commitment to stand with us.
I would also like to welcome all who would love to be part of this journey. It’s always a wonderful ride full of adventure. We always have fun as we do good in our community. Welcome and be part of our great Ubuntu Tribe.
Ubuntu Kids Graduation
Many of the students in our programs have developmental disabilities like epilepsy & spina bifeda. They are seen by their community as "cursed" and cannot attend mainstream schools. Our ultimate goal is to get these beautiful children education, therapy, and healthcare to empower them to reach developmental milestones.
In July, our entire Kenyan community came together to celebrate the first graduation of 12 Ubuntu Kids from our programs, honoring their amazing accomplishments. By combating the local stigma of special needs, we delight in making our children and their families feel loved and empowered as they start the next chapter of their lives!
Ubuntu Life began offering weekly health clinics to children and mothers in our community in order to see our ongoing patients on an ongoing, consistent basis. We hired 2 of the only 400 pediatricians in the country in addition to our staff of Community Health Workers.
Ambassador Spotlight: Drew Brees
Brittany and Drew Brees made a surprise visit to Ubuntu Life in summer 2019 as first timers to Kenya. We were amazed at how quickly they became part of the Ubuntu family. Our Maker Mums got so excited that they literally lifted Drew off the ground and began throwing him in the air - Drew handled it like a champ!
In continued support of Ubuntu, Drew wore a pair of custom designed Ubuntu Life cleats during a December Saints game as a part of the #mycausemycleats NFL campaign. He then donated the cleats back to Ubuntu - stay tuned for an opportunity to win them in 2020!
We are excited about creating many more memories with Drew and Brittany and look forward to hosting them again in Kenya in the future. WHO DAT?!
Partner Spotlight: Zazzle
What a year of growth with our Zazzle partnership. Not only have we been expanding our customization program to have more designs to choose from but with the Lion King remake premiering in the summer of 2019, we had a new opportunity that would lead to our highest amount of shoes ordered ever. Zazzle was able to secure Disney licensing which meant, we were able to print custom Lion King Afridrilles! This is massive for us as we are the only ones able to create custom Disney shoes. Starting with Lion King, we can print Mickey Mouse, Black Panther, Star Wars & many more! We are thrilled to be able to reach new demographics of customers who enjoy all things Disney!
2019 Key Products
2019 saw the launch of Ubuntu Life's most exciting collections to date, from reinvented bags with upgraded hardware to punchy new Afridrille colors and delightfully stackable bracelet collections.
The most loved products online?
To read the full 2019 Annual Report - click here