Amani Family Update: Westgate Mall Attack

Amani ya Juu was founded in Kenya, where today, about 100 women produce high-quality products and work towards becoming agents of peace in their community. In the aftermath of the horrific attack at Westgate Mall in Nairobi this past weekend, a calling for peace in Kenya has never been more appropriate.

As those of us outside of Kenya heard of the increasing numbers of those killed and injured in the attack and saw some of the disturbing images of lifeless bodies lying helplessly in puddles of blood, we began to worry about the status of the Amani family members in Kenya. We were very grateful to hear from Joyce Muraya, Kenya Country Director, that miraculously all of the women that work at Amani’s Kenya center were safe and unharmed.

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Joyce, Amani’s Kenya Country Coordinator

In the midst of the turmoil in Kenya, Joyce shared a heartfelt email with us; we would like to share an excerpt of it here, in hopes that it touches you as it did us.

“It is hard to celebrate [that no one from Amani was harmed] when so many have lost their lives. Survivor’s guilt is something we will all have to learn to navigate since we as a family and as the Amani family are miraculously untouched and so many others are grieving… On that Sunday, part of my family made its way to Nairobi hospital to donate blood. We stood in line with people of all races and faiths. As I lay there pumping away watching the red of my blood slowly flood the small translucent bag, next to me was a British lady who was squeamish about needles. Her blood was red too. On the bed next to me my daughter Wamuyu filled her bottle rapidly with red blood. In the queue was a lovely Rwandan woman. We each received a sweet cool drink provided by a business man of Indian extraction. As we were leaving, two Muslim women fully covered with black hijabs came in also to donate blood. Somehow this underlined our common humanity.”

It is always disheartening to hear of tragedies when people use our differences to draw senseless divisions and disrupt peace, not realizing that above all else, we are all human and we share more similarities than we tend to appreciate. We all bleed, we all hurt, we all need love, we all need God’s peace.   

Joyce and all of the wonderful ladies working for Amani all over the world are reminding us of the importance of spreading and working for peace. In the words of Joyce, “People are of course seeking answers and I hope that in the days to come we, who know Christ’s peace, will find ways and spaces to speak about that peace to those who need it now more than ever.”

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