What are you thankful for?

Though each woman at Amani Kenya has experienced tremendous hardship, they give thanks for their many blessings. 

Some have witnessed the murder of their families and were forced to flee their country. Others have experienced heinous domestic abuse. Some were confronted with the difficult decision between hunger or prostitution on a daily basis.

But they give thanks for the blessings in their lives daily.

We asked 5 women:
“What are you thankful for?”

Here are their responses.

“I am thankful to God for:
My Amani family.
My children, because they are good at school and they also help me with work at home. They make me happy when I am sad.
A loving and caring husband.
Beans and potatoes, because they make me healthy and strong…I thank God as I am able to afford them.
My many friends from different countries.”
Melanie, originally from Rwanda


(She hums and sings for a moment before answering.)
“He has done so much for me and I cannot tell it all…I’m thankful for:
My good health.
Protection upon me and my two children.
My job at Amani.”

Kezia from Kenya


“I am thankful for the new home I have found in Kenya, since moving from Rwanda in 1994.
I am thankful to God for He has been with me and my family throughout this journey.
I am thankful to God for allowing my first born finish high school and cannot wait for him to join a university.
I am thankful to God for my children who are prayerful and hardworking.

I am thankful for being at Amani Ya Juu, it has been my second family and a blessing to me.”

Janviere, originally from Rwanda


“I am thankful to God for health upon my family.
Thankful for my children: 3 boys, 3 daughters.
I am thankful to God because I host many visitors at my home.
I am thankful for my friends who are always there for me.”
Emily, originally from Congo

“I am thankful to God for allowing me join Amani ya Juu and being able to support my family.
I am thankful to God as I am able to serve Him as a deaconesses in my church.
I am thankful for my friends as we check on one another every now and then.”Beatrice, originally from Rwanda

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fair Trade Mountain Wedding Inspiration in Tennessee

Amani ya Juu (and several other ethical friends) were featured on Mountainside Bride!Everything about a mountain wedding should look beautiful—and be made beautifully, too! This mountain wedding inspiration features fair trade accessories, shoes, and dresses handmade by artis…

Source: Fair Trade Mountain Wedding Inspiration in Tennessee


Over the years, Amani ya Juu has been blessed to work with African women to build peace and empower lives. However, sometimes even we are surprised at how far God has used Amani to impact the lives of women around the world. During the month of November, Amani Chattanooga has been honored to host some very special volunteers who have not only been touched by Amani’s message of peace, but have been a huge blessing to the Amani Chattanooga staff.


Joy is an African woman who has only recently moved to America with her two children to begin a new life. She is leaving behind a difficult past, and is beginning the complicated and challenging process of filing for permanent residency. God has already opened many doors for Joy and her children, and has provided the support of a local NGO called Global Humanitarian Outreach (GHO) who is assisting her in the immigration process. She believes that this opportunity to start life in America has been a gift from God, and she knows that freedom from her past will help herself and her children to flourish in this strange but hopeful new environment.

Until her residency permits are secured, Joy is unable to legally work for a wage. However, because of her determination to grow and adjust to her new life in America, she began searching for volunteer opportunities. Her connections with GHO led her to Amani, where she and her children have been assisting the warehouse staff. True to her name, Joy brings with her a rich enthusiasm for life, and a hope that cannot be dimmed despite her difficult past. 


We asked her a few questions about her experience with Amani:


How did you become involved with Amani?

“I became involved with Amani through Jordan at GHO. She told me about Amani, and I was so impressed to hear
what they are doing to help women in Africa. It is good to know that they support women by training them to make materials and then bring it to the States and sell it. It is good for everyone. So that’s how I got engaged with Amani.”


What sort of work do you do for Amani?

“Ahhh, it’s big, it’s a lot of work. I’m happy with what I FullSizeRenderam doing with Amani.
Organizing materials. Packing the materials according to the requirements for the box party boxes, and helping with cleaning. My two children are also very supportive with the
work, doing some calculations and packing and cleaning. They are just so helpful.”


What kind of impact has Amani made on your life?

“Amani made me feel like a new person. The first time I went to Amani I felt happiness; more than happiness. I can’t even express how I was feeling, but I was feeling so happy to do some work with Amani, knowing that I am helping other women in Africa.”


Amani’s purpose is to be a social economic enterprise committed to peace and reconciliation for African women. What does that goal mean to you?

“It means a lot. I feel like I am a part of what they are trying to accomplish for women. I am experiencing the mission of Amani, but not from Africa. It’s just a different perspective.”


IMG_0089What does God’s peace mean to you personally?

“Oh my, that’s huge. It’s a very important thing in my life. For a long time I had no peace in my life. But now I am feeling peace. And feeling peace brings happiness and joy. So God’s peace for me is everything. When I am peaceful, I can help a lot of people, I can do a lot of things, and achieve a lot of things.”


How do you think this experience working with Amani has impacted your children and their adjustment to life in America?

“My children have been impacted by Amani because when we are at Amani, they get to do what they like to do: helping and volunteering. Amani helped them to be more calm and peaceful. We are back to peaceful again! Because they are happy to help and support others. They are good workers.”

What else would you like to say about Amani and what it means to you?

“To have an organization like Amani is such a blessing because they support and help African women who without Amani could not sell those items where they are. No one would pay them the money that they deserve to be paid. So Amani does so much to help and support African women by buying the materials and selling it here. Often, people value the materials they produce more than they value the Africans who produce them. But Amani does the opposite of that.

Also, Amani helps a lot with the spiritual life to other women who might not be Christians. Whenever I am at Amani, we pray, we praise, we discuss our needs, and I was so touched to see that happening. That itself is such a huge thing.

We love Amani, and we want to support it in any way that we can. I would like to encourage other people to volunteer with Amani so that more women in Africa can get the help and support that they need.”


(Names and details have been changed or omitted for safety)

A Cup of Chai Tea


Warmest Greetings from Nairobi, Kenya
…in the form of Chai Tea.

Our Amani Garden Cafe in Nairobi, Kenya is famous for a yummy cup of chai on chilly mornings during the dry season.

How could we not share our secret recipe with you?




2 cups milk
2 cups water
1 tablespoon loose black tea leaves
1 teaspoon chai masala*

Bring nearly to a boil. When it simmers, it’s done! Pour through sieve to strain out tea and spices. Serve hot with sugar to taste.

Chai Masala
*You can use masala from Kenya, Tanzania, or you can mix your own!
1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg
1⁄4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp cardamom
1⁄8 tsp ground black pepper

Karibu chai! 
Pairs well with gingersnaps.


An authentic mug from Kenya. Enjoy a warm African sip of comfort before stepping out into a brisk morning.


An authentic mug from Kenya. Enjoy a warm African sip of comfort before stepping out into a brisk morning.

Our name, Amani ya Juu, is a Swahili saying which means “Peace from Above”. We are a social economic enterprise committed to peace and reconciliation for women from many African nations and cultures. We use beautiful African materials to create high quality fair trade home goods and accessories.

Shop for our products at:


Shop Amani. Spread Peace.


Meet Nancy at Amani Uganda


Nancy is the new (and first) Ministry Coordinator at Amani Uganda!

One of Nancy’s most important roles is tutoring the Amani Uganda ladies in reading. This is not only a key skill for practical reasons, but it also allows them to read the Bible daily—allowing each woman to develop her faith on a personal level.

Nancy also sits down one-on-one with each woman to guide her in planning a devotion—a time when Amani ladies share testimony and read scripture with the group. This process is therapeutic to the ladies of Amani Uganda, who are all recovering from emotional and physical trauma inflicted during the long civil war. In addition, preparing and speaking in front of a group is a tremendous booster to the lady who gives the devotion!


Nancy, who is originally from Gulu, Uganda, previously worked at a church where she helped with trauma rehabilitation for women. She has brough a great deal of experience in both ministry and in working with women who have lived in captivity.



Previously, Simprosa (Uganda Country Director) and Kevin (Amani Uganda Accountant) were the only ones working on this important discipleship with the ladies. This was difficult since they were both busy with running the center. Simprosa felt the ministry aspect of Amani Uganda needed more focus, so Nancy agreed to come on board and work in a discipleship role specifically for the women.

HNGR 314

Welcome to the Amani Family, Nancy!

Want to support the women at Amani Uganda? You can donate (here) or shop (here) for their beautiful handmade items!

The Story behind the Unity Quilt

The Unity Quilt


There’s a beautiful story behind this quilt.

The Amani ya Juu Unity Quilt, rich with meaning, was made by the Amani women representing many different nations. 
It’s a symbol of reconciliation.


Grace leading the ladies of Amani Kenya in daily devotions against the backdrop of the Unity Quilt.

This bright, hand-stitched quilt represents the peace found by hurting ladies.

Each panel illustrates how reconciliation is celebrated after conflict.

unnamed-2   Kenya
When a rift occurs between two Kamba families, elders decide who is wrong and require them to give out a young goat and a rooster to be killed. The chicken is shared between the two families and then a meal is prepared for the families and community.


When a dispute arises between two Madi families, they sit with elders and talk about the problem. The problem is sorted out, and those involved spit into a pot, youngest to oldest. This is sign that there is nothing between them.


In several tribes (Hutu, Tutsi, and Batwa), elders decide who is at fault, and the offender makes a payment. This person first apologizes and the one who was wronged forgives. The two drink banana juice from one pot with two straws and embrace.
After listening to both sides, the chief and elders of the Bassa tribe find a resolution. The two sides agree and a sheep is cooked. Everyone celebrates by eating from the same bowl in the center of the village. This sharing of the meal means that the conflict is over.
Dancing African Woman
The dancing women who is pointing to the cross is celebrating the work of Christ on the cross. Christ brings peace and reconciliation which transcends all tribal and cultural differences. We are now able to experience genuine forgiveness and reconciliation with one another.
Democratic Republic of Congo
A resolution is reached between two Luba tribe families. Then, a hole is dug, a chicken is slaughtered and the blood of the chicken is put in the hole. Then, the hands of the families are symbolically washed over the hole and everyone feasts on the chicken.
Two Dagodia elders are called in to discuss the issue with representatives of each family. They promise to no longer feud, and reconciliation between the two families is celebrated by eating pasta together on a mat. Everyone agrees to live in peace by shaking hands and kissing each other on the cheek.
When there is a dispute the Hutu/Tutsi elders talk first with representatives from each group, exposing the problem. When the dispute is settled everyone drinks juice from one pot with many straws made of reeds. The drink is provided by the person at fault and everyone embraces.
Bagisu tribal elders discuss problems between disputing families and come to an agreement. Then, the elders peel a banana, break it in two pieces, and and give half to each family to eat. A goat is killed, cooked and eaten by the two families. Moving forward, no problems can divide the families.


The Tigre tribe elders mediate for the families in dispute. When peace is made the two families drink water or milk from one cup. After this they are like brothers and sisters. A sheep is slaughtered and a meal is shared together, and the two families dance to celebrate newfound peace.
Nadau tribe families sit down with their elders and discuss the problem. A resolution is achieved and the eldest in each family drinks coconut juice from one cup with a reed straw. Those involved lay their hands on top of each other illustrating their oneness in the agreement.
Broken Africa
These traditional customs have been practiced for as long as anyone remembers, but the world is still a broken place of wars and tribal clashes.
Is there a more lasting solution to these problems?

There is a beautiful person behind this quilt…
her name is Jerita!


The quilt above was created by her.
Always check the tag—the Amani seamstress signs her name!

Fall Scarves That Tell a Story


Scarves are always the perfect fall accessory

– but-

Amani ya Juu scarves tell a story!


Kerala Infinity Scarf

This infinity scarf is handmade in Nairobi, Kenya by women working for a fair trade wage. Kerala, sometimes referred to in historical terms as Keralam, is a state in South India on the Malabar coast. Many Indians live in Nairobi, Kenya, and the two cultures are represented clearly in this beautiful scarf!




Keyhole Scarf

Over the years Amani has sought creative ways to support training for the marginalized women who come through her gate. We often work with small business owners in the Nairobi Maasai Market in Kenya. And the aluminum belt buckle that comes with the beautiful scarf was handmade by Gideon in the Maasai Market.




Maasai Infinity Scarf

This infinity is named for the traditional red plaid fabric of the mighty Maasai warrior in Africa.



Kikoy Triangle Scarf

Triangle Scarf do I have to say anymore, I mean it’s so unique and one of a kind. It was handmade at Amani Kenya from kikoy fabric with kitenge detail and ties. Pair this with an awesome leather jacket or any jacket and you are good to go.




Loop Scarf

This scarf goes on forever in more ways than one. It’s shape creates an everlasting circle, and it’s purchase creates a lasting impact for the women who created it. Hand dyed and sewn by Amani women in Kenya. It comes in a lot of more beautiful colors to!



African Sankofa Scarf

The meaning of “Sankofa” is looking back and walking forward. At Amani ya Juu, this word represents the courageous journey many women take from war-torn homes to their new life of wholeness and reconciliation. These fair trade scarves are hand-dyed by the women in our Kenya center. It comes in 7 different colors!




Kanga Scarf

This scarf knows no bounds. East African kangas are given to express love. The woman who receives a kanga finds many uses for it such as a tablecloth, a bed covering, as a wrap, a baby sling, and so much more!  Each colorful piece of fabric has a Kiswahili message. You will find the unique message on your kanga in Swahili and, along with a card featuring the same message in English. Such as:

Green/Gold – “If you see me quiet, know I still remember you.”



Red/Orange – “Keep yourself busy, idleness has no payment.”


Shop all Amani ya Juu Scarves at amaniafrica.org!

Junior: A Miracle Story


Throughout Beatrice’s last pregnancy, she experienced tremendous conflict in her marriage. The stress significantly impacted her health, leading to Junior’s premature birth.unnamed

Beatrice began working at Amani ya Juu in Nairobi, Kenya when her new baby, Junior, was just two weeks old.

As Junior grew, Beatrice realized he was not developing normally. At 3-years-old, he could neither walk nor speak.With the help of donors, volunteers, and Amani ya Juu, Junior began using a walking aid and attending therapy.

Beatrice with Junior and his walker.

Beatrice with Junior and his walker.

“The day Amani ladies saw Junior walk was like a miracle,” said Gladys, an Amani Kenya administrator.

Last year, Junior began school. He is beginning to make progress with his speech.

“(I love) being able to hear him say ‘Mama’ and ‘Wewe’ (‘you’),”said Beatrice.

Junior is now 5 years old and the Amani family is more than happy to watch him walk everyday! We are so thankful for this miracle from God!

Watch a video of Junior walking here!

Click to watch a video of  Junior walking at Amani Kenya!

Click to watch a video of Junior walking at Amani Kenya!

Junior in his school uniform!

Junior in his school uniform!

You’ll Love this Hostess Gift!


Every hostess needs a gift!

We’re doing a giveaway for all 2015 volunteers.

If you’ve already hosted a box party or are signed up to host this fall, you’ll automatically be entered to win a custom glassware set! And yes, multiple sales means multiple entries.

Haven’t signed up this year?

Email volunteer@amaniafrica.org to sign up today!





Each beautiful glass is hand-etched and features our logo, a design from one of our custom batik prints, or an Amani exclusive screen print design.  This stunning glassware is handmade in Nairobi, Kenya and only available to volunteers.

We will select a winner in January!

Host a party!

Provide a marketplace for your talented African sisters by signing up!
Pick any date this fall.
We can’t wait to start customizing your box!


Ask us! Whether you want to learn more or are already drafting invites for your party, we’d love to chat!

Email Lyndsay here.

Not ready?

You can always support the women of Amani ya Juu—just shop at amaniafrica.org!

Meet our Volunteer: Amber

Amber, Amani ya Juu volunteer

Amber is an Amani ya Juu advocate and volunteer. Read more about this fabulous young woman’s passion for fair trade and Amani ya Juu! “I have always considered myself open-minded and willing to accept new ideas. An idea I was introduced … Continue reading