47" x 42"
MSU Museum Accession 2012:140.1
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, all rights reserved by MSU
Amani ya Juu (meaning “higher peace” in Swahili) is a sewing-marketing-training project for marginalized women in Africa. The main center is located in Nairobi, Kenya with sister centers in Rwanda and Burundi.
The women involved in the project are learning to work together through faith in God who provides a higher peace that transcends ethnic differences. Amani itself portrays a unique picture of diversity with women coming from Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia as well as other African countries.
The project serves a two-fold purpose. First, Amani gives African women the opportunity to improve their sewing and marketing skills. The women gain experience in purchasing, bookkeeping, skill training, quality control, management and design. Second, Amani aims to sow seeds of peace in the hearts of the women as they grow in community and in their faith together. As part of the daily activities at the center, the Amani women participate in singing, praying, Bible study and visiting one another in their homes. Relationships, built upon God’s peace, transform even the most troubled lives.
Amani is committed to fair trade, providing a just pay and holistic development, which contrasts dramatically with the unjust conditions these women are confronted with outside of Amani. Amani implements holistic development by meeting the physical, spiritual, emotional and social needs of those who participate. As the women learn practical skills to improve their quality of life, they also experience God’s healing, moving them beyond their traumatic and difficult pasts.
Amani is a self-sustaining project through the sales of products sold in Africa and by volunteers throughout the US. Each sale of a product provides marginalized women a chance to sustain a consistent income and sustains the growth and development of the centers in Africa.
As a holistic ministry of peace-building, Amani ya Juu views fair trade as much more than simply an equitable business.