“I was first motivated and driven by the desire to raise money for self-sustainability and later alone developed the need and desire to work with others targeting the youth and women to join the cause”

Having finished school 1n 2012 and failing to get a job, Alex Karibwije who hails from South Western in Uganda in Kabale District thought of becoming self-independent in order to overcome the would be effects of unemployment that would result into lawlessness. He has seen and enjoyed enough of idleness from joblessness and could not afford the frustrations his fellow colleagues in his neighbourhood were going through when he felt his talent was his potential for success.

“Coming from a poor family, I never wanted the cycle of poverty to keep recycling, a scenario that many of my friends faced and forced them into unacceptable behaviour such as smoking and taking drugs, alcohol abuse and theft that sometimes would lead them to imprisonment and theft’.

Thus in 2013, he started a small-scale sandal making the business of old car tyres. Alex Karibwije adds that: “Due to limited resources and unstable economic situations such as price fluctuations, low supplies of raw materials and limited capital; the start was very uneasy and was very frustrating and undesired”. He, however, started collecting used cars tyres from the compost, garages and petrol stations which gave him a start of the business. He started very slowly from home and later rented 2 rooms in Kigongi Ward, Central Division in Kabale Municipality from where he stays and for this same business that has changed his perceptions and sustained his livelihood.

Current standing point

He hopes to make it a big company that can employ and work with a big number of youths and women. He says that he began with a small capital of which from the experience he has achieved, he is sure that with the progressing returns and with support from well-wishers, the business will be bigger and with mass production. He says that all the profits got from the day to day businesses are reinvested into the business to make it bigger. He demonstrated that from 1 to 10 pairs of sandals he was producing per day from 2013 to 2015, he has been able with the help of youths and a woman to progress to between 30 and 35 pairs of sandals per day from 2016 to date.

What is Alex´s future vision?

Alex Karibwije wishes to register as an accomplished company by 2019 that will employ a good number of youth and women and expand production to 500 pairs of sandals per day since the demand and market are progressively promising. He further has a plan of introducing other products such as belt making, lather turning and processing. If he happens to be facilitated by well-wishers with a helping hand of boost, he says that “the demonstration he will be able to expose to the youth will transform the attitude of many in; becoming job creators than seekers, in becoming self-independent that dependants and in focusing on their natural talents and potentials for future sustainability than beggars and trouble causes in society”.