Amani ya Juu* is a sewing and reconciliation project for marginalized women in Africa. With centres in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and most recently, Liberia, the project brings together women from Burundi, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and other African countries. The women have in common, a faith in God, and the project draws upon this and the common goals of self improvement, economic empowerment and healing in order to transcend ethnic differences.
The women improve their sewing skills as well as learn the skills necessary to run an enterprise, from bookkeeping to quality control, from management to purchasing. Beyond this, Amani ya Juu insists on holistic development:
"Amani implements holistic development by meeting the physical, spiritual, emotional and social needs of those who participate. As the women learn practical skills to improve their quality of life, they also experience God’s healing, moving them beyond their traumatic and difficult pasts."
(from the website)
The tangible result of this work is over 500 different products whose sales facilitate an approach that the project describes as "beyond fair trade." Click on the Fair Trade tab on the about page to find out just what this means. It is a refreshing and holistic (word of the day!) take on what has become a controversial subject.
*Amani ya Juu is Swahili for higher peace.