When I was 5 years old I lost my mother, I was born different and grown up in a family where we are 8 girls and 6 boys, I cannot here and talk (people call me deaf), this made me neglected, abandoned and lacked parental love, reaching to an extent of regretting why I was born disabled because of being discriminated by my father, brothers and sisters, I was seen as a curse and always abused and left out because of the myths and barriers my family had on persons with disabilities like me. In 2016 I was given a scholarship by National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) where I attained a course in tailoring because that was my passion ever since was young, I was being given sewing machine by NUDIPU to go create my own job and earn a living but my family grabbed and sold it at very lower price, I felt as this was the end of my life. Fortunately in 2017 I experienced what I call (a life turning point of joining young passionate change makers and founded Kimuli Fashionability which turns challenges into opportunities by unchaining the potential of persons with disabilities through training them creative tailoring skills on how to turn plastic waste into fashion.
Born In Uganda, and grew up in Jinja, after completing school she started moving on the streets of Jinja collecting plastic waste to make fashionable jewelry and foot wear in order for her to earn a living .She gained experience in the field of making products from plastic waste and she went head on researching the impact of climate change on rural livelihoods in Jinja. She was inspired to continue her studies with a focus on the environment and the pressing topic of waste in particular. In 2017 she joined the social innovation academy where she felt she was part of a movement to tackle environmental issues such as waste and bring about much needed change. Zaharahher passionate about waste reduction and fighting plastic pollution. She describes her adventure with waste as having started with up-cycling plastic waste and materials collected from the community and turning these into garments and accessories. This experience inspired her to want to work on closing the tap on plastic waste and thus joined kimuli fashionability. She sees the work at kimuli fashionability as just the beginning and believes it has the potential to scale up in a big way. “What I like about kimuli fashionability is that with a very small team, in a short amount of time, they were able to create something quite big; a worthwhile cause that she wanted to contribute to, she feels kimuli fashionability has a wonderful approach to solving one of the world’s most important issues – waste management.
Kavuma Johnmary has spent all his time working on initiatives in line with environmental conservation, for him he believes that uplifting people’s lives and conservation of the environment are his call. When he met Juliet and Sairus heard about their stories. He was happy to start something for inclusion and beating plastic pollution.His work has included designing and implementing projects in rural Uganda on construction of affordable home made from plastic waste while empowering communities, as well as on education in IT and capacity building for youths. He has been involved in both qualitative and quantitative research and analyses of solid waste, focusing on possibilities to improve its management in rural communities. Through this work he realized that waste is one of the fastest-growing global issues which was not receiving adequate attention. Johnmary has witnessed firsthand the power of education, particularly in youths and women to change the mindset on the way people think and dispose of plastic waste.He believe that, “A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimension.”
When I was 7 years old my father got in a terrible accident. He became lame because his limbs were damaged hence was not able to do any more farming yet he was an illiterate subsistence farmer and in Africa persons with disabilities are excluded in all affairs of our societies. The double burden of looking for food, nursing and fees payments remained in one hand of the jobless poor mother. Poverty engulfed my family severely, my 3 brothers dropped out of school and 3 sisters where pregnant at the early teen-age. Due to my love for education I was forced to go for work on people’s farms and selling fruits from the environment like mangoes, jack fruit among others to look for school fees which was a real hustle. This means that me reaching high school, it is the highest level of education attained in my family. Founding Kimuli Fashionability gave me the chance to transform my difficult past into a motivated strength to fight for inclusion of persons with disabilities and for environmental conservation through up-cycling.
I grew up in poverty as an orphan with my single grandmother in a remote and rural Village in Uganda due to the victimization of disability caused to my family. My Grandmother was a tailor and inspired me as a child to use cut-offs and plastic waste, I Would gather from the streets, to produce my own dolls because she could not Afford buying me toys. What others threw away, I started to use as available resources To create something. This changed my mind-set towards waste and I started to see the value In protecting the environment. At the age of 20 I founded Kimuli Fashionability as a Sustainable fashion brand to fight for the conservation of the environment and inclusion Of persons with disabilities. We use plastic waste materials to produce fashion and Accessories, which are hand made by our tailors with disabilities, whom we train and Employ to up cycle plastic waste into fashion for beautiful products with a purpose for Awareness about the under-looked global plastic waste crisis. Waste is only waste if you waste it.