Ubuntu is dedicated to creating empowered employment opportunities, eliminating stigma, fostering inclusion for children with special needs.

We have built a self-sustaining enterprise that has created jobs, generated profits, we believe enterprise and charity support each other.

Photo of Paul Njuguna
22 16

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Ubuntu Life Foundation

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $250k - $500k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 1,000 - 5,000

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Kenya

Headquarters location: City

Maai Mahiu, Kenya

Location(s) of impact

Nakuru County



Facebook URL

https://www.facebook.com/Ubuntu Foundation

Twitter URL


Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Poverty and unemployment levels are very high in Maai Mahiu community leading to high rate of crime and diseases such as HIV among the youth. Also, there is no access to clean water in the area leading to outbreaks of water-borne diseases. Due to the high poverty levels, many kids are living with special needs due to inability to access timely medical care or afford high costs of therapy and drugs. Thus they suffer alot and live a stigmatized life hidden away from the society.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Our water bottling initiative aims at providing jobs to parents of kids with special needs and the local youths. This gives them consistent income to be able to improve their lives and support their families. We also provide insurance medical covers to our employees thus they can be able to access specialized medical services for the kids who have special needs. We run a therapy centre where kids with special needs access therapy and structured learning on daily basis free of charge so that they can be able do life basic chores and prepare them for vocational training. Profits from the enterprise are donated to the Ubuntu Kids Centre to enable it purse its mission of providing the kids with a dignified life.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

We currently have 250 children and youth with neurological conditions/epilepsy whom we provide them with medication throughout the year. We have 50 kids receiving therapy, education and other services from center on daily basis and 10 who have joined vocational training institutions across the country. We have provided cheap and affordable clean water to the community which has been faced with water challenges for long. We have currently employed 70 locals including parents of the kids with special needs. Our employees earn a regular monthly income that has enabled them to provide for their dependents. 50% of Ubuntu employees are now homeowners. 100% of Ubuntu employees are able to send their children to school. 100% of Ubuntu employees have health insurance.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Currently we our financial support constitute our earned income of 50%, individual gifts and donation at 30%, and grants constitute 20%. Our plan is to scale the water bottling business which has a huge potential. We expect to generate enough income to cover our full budget in three years time, and to grow into profitability thereafter.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

The reason why we stand out as Ubuntu family is how we handle our major mission of poverty eradication, stigmatization, and health, we have a legacy of following up to grassroots level to those individuals with special needs, we don't stop at an individual level but we try to liberate their families too from poor conditions, we provide them with skills, employ them and try as much as possible to create a new self-reliant family for them, we don't discriminate 'everyone is a family to Ubuntu org.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Zane Wilemon and Jeremiah Kuria are the unlikely duo behind the creation of Ubuntu. A “white guy” from Texas who bought a one-way ticket to Kenya post-undergrad and a Kenyan minister from a small town outside of Nairobi. Their friendship began over 15 years ago at a fly-ridden restaurant in the middle of town over a bowl of questionable stew. Here I was, a loud and passionate young guy in Kenya, and Jeremiah, looking at me and thinking, ‘what in the world does this white guy want?' At the start of their relationship, conversations centered around creating opportunities that empower the local community to help themselves. This seed eventually grew into the creation of several thriving programs in Maai Mahiu, under the name “Comfort the Children,” commonly known as CTC.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 33.3%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 33.3%

3 - I think the idea is great, but it needs some work before it moves onto the next round. - 33.3%

2 - I liked it fine but preferred others. - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. Needs significant revisions. - 0%

2. Innovation

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Social and/or Environmental Impact

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

4. Financial sustainability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 50%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 100%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

5. Potential to Scale / Replicability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

6. Organizational Leadership

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 33.3%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

7. Potential for Creating Shared Value

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jonathan Litscher

Great to see how you are integrating several activities to help children living with disabilities in a comprehensive way. At the same time, that allows you to generate income from your bottling business, contributing to the financial sustainability of the business. Congratulations and all the best!

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

The project has already proved its efficiency and how in all areas keeping up is the most difficult part. The design is super cool and can still be improved a lot. Congratulations on the work and hope you continue to change the lives of many people.

Photo of dickson

I would like to show my gratitude to the Ubuntu life foundation for the support they have provided to our society especially handling children living with special needs, they have also increased job opportunity in our community which has contributed positively in our community. Thank you Ubuntu life foundation.

Photo of Aidah Ngina

Ubuntu life Foundation is only the rescue place for children with special needs, caring for epileptic patients and empower the community with job opportunities.Thanks to Ubuntu.

Photo of Ruth Gichinga

Ubuntu foundation is the only center in Nakuru county that not only care for the children with the special need but also offer employment to the parents, provide medicine to the neuro client and ensure a child had a nice exit.

Photo of Kelvin Chege

Special needs Kids' lives are everyday being transformed in simple yet very impactful ways. Prince can walk, Helena can sit, Halima can confidently speak in public, Jimmy can sit still for up to 1 hour on an activity (major feat)and many more truly transformational success stories. They may sound like just random names,but to us,they are family,they embody the "Why" . Ubuntu through its rehab program has restored Hope and dispelled the prison of despair that many families were living in. I am happy to be part of such an organisation, it adds meaning to life and inches us closer to our ultimate goal as humanity,to serve others more than ourselves.
Ubuntu life foundation: I am who I am because of what we all are.

Photo of Made Production

l give thanks to God for bringing ubuntu life foundation to our lives, children with special needs have been taken care off.Empowered employment opportunities created..Thanks so much !

Photo of Beatrice

Ubuntu has been a blessing in our society in a number of ways, but the most touching thing is the way they have included many youths in their organization by either giving them job or training in form of vocational training which has impacted positively on a larger scale, In addition we have seen their contribution in handling kids with special needs by providing them with therapy sessions and giving them skills so that to integrate them in society.

Photo of Alfred Tochi

Ubuntu life foundation has changed it's employees lives in empowering them through loans &advances, enabling them attain their development goals.We lead in Nakuru county others follow. Together we prosper.TUKO PAMOJA

Photo of John Kinyua

Ubuntu has earned an accolade in the community where everybody wants to be associated with due to the uniqueness in leadership, the spirit, the oneness, the support,the concern, the list is endless, long live Ubuntu!

Photo of Ruth Nyamwathi

In the whole of Nakuru county its only at Ubuntu life foundation where life -changing employement opportunity has been provided in anonymous way , words alone cannot express our gratitude we appreciate in a million ways .

Photo of Emily Wairimu

True! Ubuntu is the only Trusted and Desirably branded Organization in Nakuru County that empowers people to live dignified lives through creation of Job opportunities, reducing stigma on disabilities, upholds professionalism, transparency and accountability without trespassing on racial, tribal, cultural and social norms. Supports the wholesome needs of employees and service recipients in emotional, financial, psychological, rehabilitative , physical, medical and all other needs.

Photo of Teresiah Ngugi

UBUNTU has been a blessing to Maai-Mahiu community by an unexplainable change in reduction of stigma, myths and discrimination against persons living with disability and provision of income to many in the community.

Photo of Njamby Njoroge

UBUNTU! The only unique Organisation in Nakuru Region where we feel the Power of Empowerment! It has created Huge Impact in the Society in so many ways. We appreciate....Thank you so Much!!

Photo of Joseph Kinyua

Ubuntu foundation is a clear indicator of a society that is really concerned with its employees welfare.In its 15 years of existence we have seen growth and development both internally and externally through creation of jobs,health and moral support.personally i can attest that this organization has a
dream objective of changing the lives of its employees and the society at large.

Photo of mercyline

We can say much about Ubuntu life foundation but we cant forget to say THANK YOU! for how you have transformed our society. Addressing major issues like unemployment and developments. Thank you so much.

Photo of rose

Woow this is a good project proposed by Ubuntu life foundation, we have seen your contribution in our society and you have been a blessing to us. Congrats!

Photo of Joseph Ngigi

Ubuntu "I am We are" this is a good initiative that Ubuntu is undertaking to support the local youth in the region. keep up....

Photo of Seth Japheth

Ubuntu Foundation happens to the most real initiative I have ever come across. It gives a true meaning to 'I'm, we are'. It indeed has continued to give hope to the disabled, mothers and youths in the society at large. It's a symbol of hope, empowerment, and Inspiration to everyone associated with it. Its continued growth will mean a lot to the society and more hope to the poor children and mums.

Photo of susan

This is a good initiative, Ubuntu Life foundation has been of great help in our society, we proud of you.

Photo of Paul Njuguna

Ubuntu has continued to empower the communities around by providing meaningful jobs to the marginalized people in our society. Those stigmatized because they have children with special needs, unskilled ones but ready to learn etc

Photo of charles

One month ago I was jobless, you know life after college, not until Ubuntu life foundation came to my rescue, they gave me training as a cashier and employed me in the same foundation, viva! Ubuntu life foundation.