At Amani ya Juu, peace dwells among us. But it is also something to be shared. Amahoro ava mw’Ijuru – Amani’s sister center in Bujumbura, Burundi – demonstrates in their past and in their present this peace which is to be passed. Amahoro exists because one Burundian refugee woman experienced peace at Amani Kenya and saw the need for it in her home country. Today Amahoro ava mw’Ijuru is a thriving, significant part of the Amani family.
Below is an update from Grace Scale, a student at Arizona State University interning with Amahoro, sharing about this special group with the rest of Amani’s widespread family.
Parallel to the shores of Lake Tanganyika in East Africa sits Amahoro ava mw’Ijuru, a place where women seek peace that comes from above. At Amahoro the day begins and ends with song and devotion and is filled with laughter and the hum of sewing machines as the women work together on various projects. Goreth Inarukundo began Amahoro in May 2004 after spending five years at Amani in Nairobi. She fled to Kenya as a refugee, escaping war throughout Burundi and Rwanda and vowing never again to return to her home country. After experiencing true peace at Amani, Goreth began making plans to return home and begin a similar project, with hopes of women finding true peace and reconciliation. Not only has Amahoro been a place of healing and peace, but also of transformation as women’s lives are impacted daily through economic, spiritual, and community support.
Currently, there are six women who stitch at Amahoro ava mw’Ijuru in Bujumbura. They craft beautifully designed products out of local fabrics found in the Bujumbura markets. The women have developed ongoing partnerships with groups in other parts of the country as well. Mama Charolette, who also formerly participated at Amani Kenya, oversees nine women in Rubura. She visits Bujumbura twice per month to deliver the small stuffed animals they make together – a popular product with Amahoro’s customers. Another group of women impacted by the peace at Amahoro is lead by Pascasie in Gitega. These women spend their day weaving to supply Amahoro with beautiful traditional baskets which are sold in the shop. Through these partnerships, the women of Amahoro live out true peace, extending relationships and shared work to others.
The women of Amahoro mw’Ijuru, and even the nation of Burundi, remind us of the vast potential and opportunity for peace from above. There is relative political peace in the country after decades of civil war, and women whose lives have been transformed by peace work to the hum of sewing machines. May the story of Amahoro encourage our friends around the world to work toward peace and share it with many others around them.
They are pictured here with Grace.
Please visit Amahoro mw’Ijuru if you are in Burundi! The center and shop is located on the Avenue du Large in the Kinindo area of Bujumbura. Contact them at burundi at amaniafrica dot com for more information.
You can also donate online to support the development of the Burundi center. Or support Amani’s self-sustaining work with a purchase from our webstore. It’s brimming with beautiful products that share peace!