April 2022

In Celebration of Mother's Day, Honoring Our Original Maker Mums Part I

BLOG / In Celebration of Mother's Day, Honoring Our Original Maker Mums Part I

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Here at Ubuntu Life, mothers are at the heart of everything we do. To celebrate Mother’s Day, we’re sharing the stories of our seven original Maker Mums in Maai Mahiu, who have been with us for the last 14 years.
Like all stories, the story of Ubuntu Life begins with mothers. 
Nearly a decade and a half ago, a group of nine Maker Mums in Maai Mahiu ignited our journey to where we are today. These strong, talented women are the force behind everything we do: creating and sharing beautiful handcrafted products with the world, and empowering our community to live a more fulfilling, connected life.
Many of our original Maker Mums became involved with Ubuntu Life when they were seeking help for a special needs child. We couldn’t be more honored that they joined our team, and that seven of our nine original Maker Mums are still here, growing with us after more than 14 years.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we sat down with our seven original Maker Mums in Maai Mahiu to share their stories and celebrate their journeys with Ubuntu Life.
This is the first in a three-part series honoring these incredible women. Stay tuned for another installment of the series next week.
Name: Monicah Wambui
Age: 51 years old
Children: 6
Role at Ubuntu: Expert espadrille hand stitcher and machinist in the shoe department
How did you get involved with Ubuntu? 
I have a disabled child. 
How has your life changed since you got involved with Ubuntu? 
I started to have money to put food on the table. Having a salary at the end of the month gave me hope. 
What are your hopes for your children's future?
I want them to stand for themselves and that they have good health.
What do you like best about being a mother?
When I see my kids and know that they don't have any problems and that they are well.
More About Monicah
Born in Kiambu County, Monicah moved to Maai Mahiu with her parents and six siblings just in time for primary school. However, she did not further her education past the primary level because her father did not believe that girls should study beyond this point. Instead, she joined a sewing course organized by a nearby church. Upon achieving certification, Monicah returned to Maai Mahiu, where, unfortunately, she couldn't find a job. During this time, she got married. She now has six children of her own.
Monicah's son Stephen Njuguna started at the Ubuntu Life Special Needs Centre when he was six years old and received physical and occupational therapy until about four years ago, when Monicah and her family moved outside Maai Mahiu town, where they had bought land and built a house. Stephen spends his time at home with family and neighbors. He enjoys being outside in his wheelchair, and while he can't walk or speak, he can hear and understand.
Having taken a sewing course in her late teens, Ubuntu Life has allowed Monicah to use her skills and build on them. She uses her advanced sewing knowledge to train her fellow Maker Mums, and her life experience to motivate younger Maker Mums to continue growing and thriving.
Name: Alice Njeri
Age: 53 years old
Children: 5 (her son sadly passed away; she has 4 living children)
Role at Ubuntu: Working in the shoe department, sewing together the components of our Afridrilles and Lamu Mules
How did you get involved with Ubuntu? 
My son Mike Ndungu attended the Ubuntu Life Special Needs Centre. 
How has your life changed since you got involved with Ubuntu? 
Ubuntu has taken me very far. It has lifted me, and made me an empowered woman. 
What are your hopes for your children’s future?
I hope that my children can stand by themselves, working for themselves. I have planned for that by educating them. 
What do you like best about being a mother?
I feel proud when I see my children work hard and succeed.
More About Alice
Alice was born on Nyakinwa Farm just outside Maai Mahiu town, where her parents still live. She attended the local primary school but did not progress beyond that level, as her parents, who had seven other kids, could not afford to send her to secondary school. Once she left school, Alice helped her parents on the farm until she met and married her husband at age seventeen.
Alice credits Ubuntu for changing her life. Her son Mike Ndungu attended the Ubuntu Life Special Needs Centre as a pioneer student from the age of 6 to 17 years. Mike suffered from weakness and deformity on one side and epilepsy.
Sadly, Mike passed away in 2018.
Alice has sustained herself and her family through her years with Ubuntu Life. She has educated her children, and bought a small parcel of land in Maai Mahiu. Once her youngest daughter completes her education, Alice plans to save enough to build a house on the small parcel of land she purchased a few years ago. While Alice has experienced hardship, challenges, and the painful loss of Mike, she gives thanks to God for the blessing of his life and his time at the Ubuntu Life Special Needs Centre.



Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Margaret Reek (Njoki)

September 12, 2022

I’m so glad to see how much progress has been made and how well the Mums have done in the years since I was there. I’m sorry to hear that some of the children have passed on. Their lives and so many others have been made much better by Ubuntu.

I cherish my two visits to Mai Maihu and working with these wonderful women

Belinda Adkins

April 11, 2022

I love seeing these lovely, strong women again! I am so very, very glad they are doing well and thriving! I loved my two trips to Maai Mahiu helping these women with their sewing!!! Love to them. ❤️❤️


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