New spring collection in our shop

Well, spring has sprung (we hope!) and we wanted to share some great news with you…

We have a wonderful new spring collection of handmade, ethical and eco goodies for you and your home in our shop.

>>Click to visit our shop now>> 

From gorgeous, cuddly pram blankets, super colourful sun tops, dapper gents scarves and bright, eco cushions covers and table runners  – each of our products has a story behind – the story of the wonderful woman who made it and the child whose life has been transformed because you’ve brought it.

As you may remember we use all our profit to children orphaned by HIV in the slums of Kampala. One of the ways we do this is with education grants that help children like Fiona Nakazwe, 10. 

Here is a little film we made with Fiona and her adopted grandmother Sarah, so they can tell you for themselves how awamu is changing their lives. 

Fiona’s mother died some years ago and she was living with her father, tragically he also became very ill and Fiona had to drop out of school to care for him before he passed away last year. Distant relatives then took her to live in a village outside Kampala, leaving her friends and all connections to her parents behind.

Her relatives didn’t want to pay for her to go to school and she was being used a domestic servant – digging all day in the fields, looking after other children, cooking, fetching water and only eating if there was some food left over. 

Luckily, Sarah Kanyike (widower and guardian of 10 grand children) had been friends with Fiona’s parents and when she went to attend the funeral she saw that Fiona looked ill and was very unhappy “I could see these people just wanted to use her for fetching water. I decided to bring her to become one of my family of 10 to make it 11. She calls me grandmother, because the rest of my family also calls me grandma. She was welcomed here by my family – I told them ‘she is one of you”.

Your awamu purchase has helped Fiona to enrol in primary school where she is now excelling..

Fiona told me “Ja-ja (grandma) Sarah takes me as her real family, I’m happy because I’m now one of the family. The day I was going to start school I woke up early and started to get dressed – then grandma told me ‘what are you doing – it’s only 4.30 – school won’t open for another 4 hours’ but I couldn’t go back to sleep I was too excited”.

There are now 66 children enrolled in primary school thanks to the education programme we run in partnership with ActionAid Uganda. 

On behalf of Fiona, Sarah and all teh children and women we work with in Kampala – Thank you xX

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This is what happens when you buy from awamu…

Something to make you smile – this is what happens when you buy from awamu…

Children supported by AWAMU happy after receiving scholastic materials for the second term. Thanks to AWAMU for the support given to our children here in Kampala Uganda.

mawdaschoolbooksawamu

Christmas gifts that change lives…

tom

Tom was ecstatic when he was able to enroll in school

We’ve just added even more gifts in our shop with prices starting from as little as £3!

Whether you’re buying for a favourite aunt or a hard-to-buy-for friend, you know you are making a real difference when you buy from awamu because you are also giving a wonderful gift of education to orphaned children like Tom in the slums of Kampala.

Tom was ecstatic when he found out his dream of enrolling in school would finally come true. Here is a little film we made with Tom and his Aunty so they can tell you for themselves how awamu is changing their lives.

Watch film now>> it’s only a few minutes long – we hope you will enjoy it.

£3 for a trio of African Wax fabric badges

£4 hang your own little treats on the tree palm leaf mini gift bags

£5 adopt a Zebra (or a whole heard!)

£7 -9 Purses and bags to help you organise your life!

£8 fill you stockings with a  rainbow of recycled paper beads

£14-£18 Add colour and comfort to your sofa

Meet Jaliya & ‘Ja-Ja’ Regina

This makes us immensely happy – meet Jaliya’s and ‘jaja’ Regina

Greeting and flowers from Uganda

 A beautiful drawing to brighten up your day!

I just recieved this fabulous drawing from Nankya Hameria (now in primary class 5 with the support of awamu) to share with you. Hameira wrote ‘This is my favorite type of flower’.

Meet Jaliya and ‘jaja’ Regina and see how we are helping to change the lives of children in the slums of Kampala

I just opened my email to find this picture (above) of Jaliya and news that she is studying hard for next round for exams that are coming up very soon.

This makes us immensely happy – and is giving me a great reason to share this little film we made with you today so you can see just how your support is changing the lives of children in Kampala.

Please, please watch it. If it makes you feel half as proud as I do right now, it’ll make your day too. And when you’re done, please share it with everyone you know – through twitterfacebookyoutube – to spread the word about awamu and help us to change even more lives for the better.

Jaliya is the inspiration behind awamu. You may recall that Jaliya suffered extreme neglect at the hands of her uncle when she was sent to live with him following the death of both of her parents from AIDS. She was just seven years old.

Fearing she too had the illness and may “contaminate” his children, she was kept in isolation in a tiny hut, barely big enough for her to stand in. Little Jaliya slept alone each night on a sack and was forbidden to play with her cousins, go to school or even touch the family’s possessions.

After hearing reports of a sick child, Regina – a member of the Tusitukirewamu Women’s Group – and our heroine, found Jaliya half-starved with a swollen tummy and coughing up blood.

Regina pledged there and then to look after Jaliya, offer her the love and comfort she so desperately craved and nurse her back to health. Although she knew it would be a struggle, she found a place in her home for her alongside the 10 other children in her care who’d also lost their parents to AIDS related illnesses.

Five years on, Jaliya is a healthy and happy 11-year-old. She’s doing well in school, she plays with her friends and brothers and sisters and, most importantly she has the love of a grandmother (or ‘ja-ja’) from Regina. A love that is so obviously reciprocated.

And this is thanks to you and your support of awamu. 100% of your donations and proceeds from your purchases go to support orphaned children like Jaliya, in the slums of Kampala and the wonderful, selfless women that take them into their care.

We help to train women in the communities in income generating schemes so they can earn a living to support themselves and their extended families.

And we support networks of women who have been similarly affected by HIV who give their time and energy to helping the most vulnerable in their communities. They walk the street of the slums, seeking out children and adults in need of their support. They encourage them to confront their fears, navigate the medical system and offer care and protection to those who are too weak to look after themselves or their families.

With very few overheads (the cost of website/the materials we buy for our products) a little goes a long way…

£243  could cover the cost of skills training for one woman over two years

£42 could help us refurbish the women’s groups old sewing machines

£139 could buy a new sewing machine

£59 could buy a school uniform, schools fees, books and pens

£16 could buy a good pair of school shoes

£69 could provide small loan to help a guardian start a small business that will help them feed their family

£22 (the equivalent of one summer dress) could cover the cost of school fees for one term

£483 could cover the school for seven years

£62 could buy warm clothing, mosquito net, mattresses, school uniform and scholastic materials for one child

£613 could support one child through seven years of Primary Education and a small start up loan so their guardian can earn enough money to feed their family

So thank you for every gift you have bought from us. for every share on facebook and twitter, every donation and, most importantly, every encouraging word you have given us.

Tom’s dream of going to school has finally come true..

Tom Salutes you!

This March we were able to help 26 more children to enroll in primary school because of your support – the money you help us raise though sales, donations and events is transforming the lives of children like Tom in Kampala.

This is a film from Tom and Teopista – Tom is now 7 years old and was ecstatic when he found out his dream of enrolling in school would finally come true. Please watch so they can tell you for themselves.

Tom’s father abandoned him with his Step mum when he was just over a year old.  She did not not care for him properly and he became severely malnourished and seriously ill.

When Teopista (his Aunty) heard how he was being treated she went to fetch him, She got him the medical attention he needed and became his permanent guardian.

They live together in one tiny room and Teopista ran a small roadside business – she would sell sweets and cakes  she would make around 2,000 Ugandan shillings (0.55p) which they used to buy food for that day – until last year when the Ugandan government banned roadside traders and life became even more of a struggle.

Luckily, the situation was bought to the attention of the women’s group we work with in Bwaise and now, with your help, Tom has just completed his first term in school –  he has a new uniform, shoes, school books and gets at least one meal a day at school.

The women in the groups we work with walk the streets of the slums seeking out children and adults in dire need of their help.

Their support often means the difference the difference between life and death in areas with little or no social services or protection.

Whether it is education grants or skills training that helps guardians earn an income. Every penny we raise through sales and donation goes towards project that are making life better for kids like Tom.

Weebale Nnyo!

(Which means ‘Thank you very much’ Luganda – the main language spoken in Kampala)