Mike Drakert is the production manager for MEND, a socially and environmentally responsible company that Invisible Children runs. The MEND program is based in Gulu, in hopes of stimulating growth, local employment, and economic stability. They are both a fashion brand and an program dedicated to educating and providing employment for the women of Northern Uganda.
What they don’t tell you about Mike is that he is everything to the MEND women. As you can see from the photo below, they admire him. All women that work for MEND were formerly abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army and have gone through the worst of the worst. Most of them were raped by rebels and escaped from the bush with their children.
The opportunity that MEND provides these women is amazing. When you visit, you can tell that MEND care’s deeply about their well-being and job security. It’s a dream come true for these 13 women.
I have seen the way that Mike interacts with these woman, making them laugh and smile as he learns the local Luo language and attempts to be “one of them.” Thanks, Mike, for your continued dedication.
I took the photo below when Mike was presenting the MEND women with their brand new t-shirts. They were EXCITED!!!