Amani was established in 1996 with four women. Each of the ladies began their journey with Amani broken and devastated by the horrors of civil conflict. They needed healing, a restored vision, and a renewed energy to live again. Yet, while they came with need, they also came with gifts. They brought together skills in stitching, a love of African textiles, an eye for beauty, and a passion for peace. The converging of their talents, needs, and desires brought Amani ya Juu to life.
Today, the founding members continue to serve as custodians of Amani’s mission of peace:
Magdalene, from Mozambique, now a “shosho,” or grandmother, provides care for her granddaughter while her daughter-in-law trains at Amani. Magdalene embraces the values of peace, community, unity, and forgiveness as she passes them down from one generation to the next.
Lucy, from Sudan, a leader in her community, has made many trips back to her war torn country to tell the story of Amani. She shares the remarkable story of God’s peace that transcends deeply entrenched ethnic hatred. Lucy bears witness to the belief that transformation is available to all. She is ready to return to a new South Sudan to carry hope to a land that has been desolate of peace for over 40 years.
Veronica, also from Sudan, used her gifts in tailoring at Amani for many years. She trained women in stitching, served as quality control officer, and developed new products. Her work is driven by the desire to give others a chance to find dignity and peace. Many who were trained by her now follow in her footsteps, living out peace through their work and leadership.
Becky, originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, had a vision for working with marginalized women emerge from her own experience as a refugee. After fleeing the civil war in Liberia, she saw the need to offer a life of dignity and worth to other refugee women. With three other women, she gave birth to Amani ya Juu, “Peace from Above.” With a loan of $500, they began making placemats in her home in Nairobi. Since then, she has worked over the years to grow the Amani family through her entrepreneurial skills and her creative approach to ministry.