Amani ya Juu means “Peace from Above” in Swahili. Amani is a sewing and reconciliation program for marginalized women in Africa. Women from many African nations and cultures are learning to work together through faith in God who provides a peace that transcends cultural and ethnic differences.
Amani began in 1996 with four women sewing placemats together in Nairobi. Since then, Amani has grown to over 200 women representing diverse communities from all across Africa. In the face of conflict and poverty, women at Amani regain hope and stability and share Christ’s gift of peace in their homes, communities and nations. Amani has established a presence of peace in several African countries as women return to their homelands to begin their own peace building initiatives.
Amani ya Juu is committed to holistic development. Women gain experience in stitching, quality control, purchasing, bookkeeping, management and design. As new women enter the program they are mentored in quality workmanship with an emphasis on ethical business practices and harmonious relationships.
Relationships built upon God’s peace transform even the most troubled lives. Amani women participate in singing, praying, and Bible reading as part of daily activities. Visits to one another’s homes provide the care and support that every woman needs.
Through the skills and talents of the women we are able to produce a wide selection of high-quality fair-trade handbags, home & kitchen décor, jewelry, women’s apparel and children’s items– all made with beautiful African fabric that is recognized for the rich and vibrant motifs and colors of Africa.
Product sales through our retail outlets sustain the growth and development of the Amani centers. Over the years Amani ya Juu has sought creative ways to support the training program for the women at Amani. We often work with local artisans in the Nairobi Maasai Market in Kenya to supply Amani with home goods and jewelry accessories while promoting local creativity and talent. An artisan who supplies us with jewelry is a partner in Amani’s vision of peace and economic support. All products are made of natural materials and are handcrafted to compliment Amani’s line of beautiful products.
Africa often communicates her wisdom through symbols. This African motif, called Nkyinkyim by the Adinkra of Ghana, is literally translated as "twists and turns."It symbolizes the winding path that life takes, and how one must be versatile and resilient to succeed. This symbol has been embraced by the women of Amani. “Twistings”, through hardships and losses, are all too common in real life. Amani provides a safe space where personhood and worth is regained, the will to pick up the pieces and begin living again revived. Passion returns. New skills prepare them for a new path. Life takes on meaning and purpose once again.