January 11, 2011

Amani Ya Juu

There’s this project in Nairobi called Amani Ya Juu (which means ‘higher peace’ in Swahili) that teaches and trains marginalized women in sewing, crafts and marketing. What’s especially neat, though, is that these women come from conflict areas all over Africa (Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, etc.) and from a variety of people groups that would often be in conflict with each other but they all train and work together. The website says “the women involved in the project are learning to work together through faith in God who provides a higher peace that transcends ethnic differences.”

We went to their store here in Nairobi today, and it was seriously beautiful. What they sell here is beyond all the typical Africa-y trinkets you can find anywhere. Their products are intended to be sold to Westerners, so they really take into consideration those styles, which = bags, home goods, clothes, jewelry and children’s toys that are both uniquely African and things I seriously want to own.


[all images via their website. But they almost don’t even do it justice.]

They have these bedspreads that are all piecey and beautiful colors and Anthropolgie-esque (no, really. But not quite as expensive and supporting an amazing project. Sooo buy it here instead.) and I told my mom that’s what I want for my next birthday. But then she told me that that would be a better present for my first year out of college. And I was sad, because that seems kind of far away.

And then they have a charming little café, and I got a “Mexikenya Salad” – the likes of which I have never before seen in Nairobi. It was HUGE. (And it looked way prettier before I squished the guac. Whoops.)

So. If you ever are in Nairobi, go here. And I think they have a shop in DC, too. So…check it out!

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