The previous Amani Uganda
A month ago, Amani Uganda existed in one room of a strip in the Cerelene district of Gulu. With seven women sewing and four babies playing in a twelve-by-twelve room, a new place needed to be found.
One of Simprosa’s friends showed her a house in Pece, a bright, spacious building in a quiet location. She knew the property was beautiful but did not think they could afford it. After her husband showed her the same property later, she began to pray. “We just have to trust God,” she said. The owner agreed to hold the house for a few days, while she collected money for the deposit. That week, a friend and wholesaler called Simprosa, and asked her to bring products to sell in a cafe. When Simprosa tentatively asked how many products she wanted, she replied, “Bring a lot!” With a hopeful heart, Simprosa packed her suitcases full of products and boarded a bus to the nearby town. She returned beaming and speechless. “I just don’t know what to say! Thank you, God!” were the only words that escaped from her mouth for the next few days as they moved into the new Amani Uganda building.
After almost a month of working here, the Amani women smile as they describe their new building. “We just feel free!” Joyce says, laughing. Besides being beautiful, the building serves the women’s needs functionally. “The place is nice, and our children have a safe place to play,” Alice, mother of 5-month baby, Innocent, emphasizes. All of the women are mothers, and they often have to keep their youngest children with them during the day. Now they can work freely without worrying about their children’s safety. Besides the children being safe, they are also well-cared for. The old building did not even have a toilet. Judith remembers, “We had to walk and pay to use a toilet. It got a bit expensive!”
Simprosa recounts the growth of Amani thus far, “First, we did not even have money for tea. By the afternoon we would be so tired. Then, we added tea, which helped. But now, with a kitchen, we can cook lunch every day!” The new building not only brings happiness to the current Amani ladies, but it also creates opportunity for helping more women. “I want to add six more ladies in the next year,” Simprosa hopes aloud to continue the mission spreading peace to women whose lives have been scarred by the war. The new building provides room for growth, and even space for a permanent shop (coming soon!). With the recent move, Amani Uganda’s future shines almost as brightly as the smiles of the women.