I was three years old when I contracted polio. This meant I lost the use of my legs and was not able to get around. I was also the first-born child in the family so I didn’t have older siblings to help me. I was not treated well by the children in my community and I stayed at home all day. My father started taking me to school when I was fourteen years old but he passed away when I was eighteen. It meant that I could no go longer to school as I had no means of transport and the school was too far to crawl there. I had only reached Standard Four and have had no education since.
At the age of eighteen I started work at Kibebe Farm helping in the gardens. But this was not good as I was not gaining anything, it was just a means of income. I worked there for eleven years before I came to Neema Crafts. I came to learn new skills and I now know that even if I leave, I have something I can do.
I was on a ten-month tailoring course at first and then I was told to go home and wait for an opening to come and work in the workshop. It was hard at home, because I had the skills and the machine but I did not have any customers. So when Neema called me to come and start work, I came immediately. Now I have an income and the difficulties in my life have decreased. I have learnt new skills and am able to use them outside of Neema as well. I now live with my wife and children in a new house built with support of the Neema Housing project, and I am happy that I can support and provide for them.
Julias works in our tailoring department and makes bags, washbags and cushions.