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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No more post before Christmas – it’s party time!

There are now officially no posting day left until Christmas here at awamu – our festive celebrations have already begun.

Yesterday the first party for the children we work with in Kampala was held in Makerere.

It was organised by Nulu Nabunya, Executive Director of MAWDA one of the awesome women’s groups we work with in Kampala and she has sent this message for you…

“We thank everyone for the support they have given us which made this such a successful and wonderful party.

“We ate, drank soda and danced. The children were even given gifts (new clothes for Christmas). They were very happy and we want share the photos so our friends in the UK feel they were at our party too.”

 This is the first of many thank yous coming your way – because as well as supporting Children through primary school and training their guardians in skills to earn a living – many of you have also contributed to parties for the kids.

.Party 1 image7

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Today, Uganda – the Pearl of Africa – marks 50 years of independence.

 

 

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A rainbow of recycled paper beads

A Rainbow of recycled paper beads just arrived from Kampala and shortly to be available in our shop. See how Sarah makes them here..

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Patience playing on the swings

Patience swinging!

A belated (best no less heartfelt) HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all.

We’re wishing everyone – including our friends in Uganda who we are missing dearly – a healthy, happy new year full of love and laughter.

We’ve enjoyed a few days off with friends and family but January is where we start focusing on the next challenge(s)!

It rather grey and miserable here in London so here are a few happy faces that have been cheering us – we hope they make you smile too!

 

opiodad
 
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Video: Who made them?

All these lovely things were made by Robina, Sarah, Florence and Amerit.

As well as hoping that you will buy and enjoy the lovely things that they’ve made they would also like to share their stories with you…

Robina

We hope you enjoy what we have made. We have enjoyed making them. Before I was lost, I was helped and I want to give something back.”

My husband died in 2004 when my children, Ritah, Ndego, Night and Deborah were very young. He had been very sick and when he died I was thrown out of my home by my in-laws. They took all of my property and I had no where to live.  I was left with nothing and I had no way of earning a living. I came to the Kampala with my children in search of work.

“But I became very sick – a volunteer health worker from Tusitukirewamu womens group came to my home. I later found out they had heard about me and visited me as part of their community outreach. With care and support from womens in the group I was able to access treatment and get well again. Now I am on anti retroviral drugs. They also helped me to get training in tailoring & knitting from TASO (the Aids Support Organisation).

“These women saved me and and now I embrace the group because I want to give something back. I started volunteering with them in 2006, now I works for the organisation training guardians, vulnerable youths and commercial Sex workers  who want to learn skills so they can change their lives. I want to help others change their lives the way I was able to change mine“

 

 

 

 

Sarah