A Kenyan Slum Boy Starts A Sports Wear Company In America To Educate Vulnerable Girls

Yema Khalif, the founder and CEO of YEMA, grew up in Kibera slums (the largest slum in Africa) in Nairobi Kenya. He knows what it is like to live without clean running water, good schools and job opportunities, much less TV or online shopping. Born in a family of 8, his parents could barely afford school fees, so Yema had to drop out of high school two times even though he was getting good grades. "I thank my mom for forcing me back to school because I had given up," he recalls. "She was able to pay for me to finish school by selling off my dad's cool stereo and gas cooker." 

Through a scholarship from Road to Freedom Scholarships (RFS), an organization that empowers and educates children living in extreme poverty, Yema was able to come to the US to study Communications and Media at Dominican University of California.

Knowing what a difference his family and the scholarship made in his life, Yema's mission is to support the education of vulnerable girls in Kibera slums. To combine his passion for design, athletics and helping other kids back home in Kibera, Yema created the sportswear company YEMA, LLC. He founded the company in the San Francisco Bay Area with his friend and Dominican University classmate Rawad Abou Hassan. YEMA, LLC designs and sells high quality and fashionable sportswear and donates US$5 of every purchase to RFS. Each US$5 donated to RFS is enough to buy a textbook, 3 meals or a school sweater. RFS is sending kids from the slum to school, where many of the kids’ problems are addressed in one place, holistically. The kids gain a family in each other, a bed, a uniform to wear, medical care, 3 meals a day, clean water to drink, safety from sexual violence and assault, AND an elite education!  Through receiving an education the opportunity to live in a supportive environment, RFS students are able to break free of the cycle of being "stuck" in the slum.  Through such programs, helping a child has the power to help a community, and the entire world! YEMA, LLC is happy to support this cause.

Each purchase you make from YEMA, LLC help support kids in need, supporting programs that can make a real difference in their lives! 

Image source: Road to Freedom Scholarships/Chad Holder