CEO Re-Afric | KENYA
My name is Julius Okoth Otieno, a young proactive Kibera resident & the founder of Reafric . I was born and raised in Kibera slum, where I carried my education from primary to secondary and college where I did entrepreneurship studies and ICT. I am a man of great dignity for creative thinking and capacity building. I am very passionate, committed and goal oriented hence love making successful ventures as I figure out how to solve problems existing in my environment mostly in our slum communities. I am a loyal young man with high integrity, very sincere and transparent in what I do. I’m very much open minded with remarkable creative ability, value human dignity and respect my personal values. I value commitment to my work and work with diligence to meet expected results. My driving force is dedicated passion to create significant social impact in our slum communities. Spending the decades of my life in the slum community ever since my childhood, with a tough life experience where getting school fees to drive my career to it’s destiny , really kept my thoughts at gaze. I lived a life full of wishes since seeing our family and even neighbors in Kibera slums struggling to make both ends meet was something I could not wait to figure out it’s solutions. So, after graduating from college, I came back to kibera slum and begun to work as a researcher and database administrator in kibera Community Empowerment Organization, then as a computer trainer in Stantech Computer Center and later as a software developer in Samasource Limited Company and above all as a wishful thinker. Indeed I became so hard against the anti-poverty and waste movement. Majorly waste materials in kibera are being perceived as something that one should not associate with but never as a source of income generating activity. In Fact when I could tell anyone about my idea, they said it wasn’t possible, but this is what made me to pursue it harder. So I quit my job , went back to kibera slum and launch a social enterprise called Reafric. Reafric simply means redoing it in Africa. Bringing back the original natural state of Africa as a continent. This we do through mobilizing group of young people in Kibera to collect waste and turning them into new products. We collect offcuts from local garment shops and tailors that are turned into various new items – among them shoes. Majorly, Reafric focuses on making shoes out of these waste collected. As a recycling company we collect waste materials such as leather boards from industries, used fabrics from tailors, used vehicle tires, leather from carpenters and old jeans to make quality and durable footwear, sold both locally and abroad. Through this, we create jobs for skilled but idle artisans who are given the job of making shoes or other items out of the materials gathered. We market and sell shoes on Facebook (facebook.com/reafric). I believe in social impact, in changing the environment and creating a sustainable income to our community.