Free postage for our neighbours in N16

oli otya? I’ve come all the way from Uganda to show some neighbourly love to all the residents of N16 – we’re offering free postage on all orders from our on-line shop.

If you live in N16 simply use the code ‘N16FREEPOST’ when you reach the check out of our shop.

If the delivery address is in  N16 (Stoke Newington) we won’t charge you postage and will deliver your order for free.

We hope you enjoy all the beautiful clothes, toys and accessories handmade for you by our women’s groups  in Kampala. And as we use all the our profit to support orphaned and vulnerable children in the slums of Kampala – you can feel doubly good about your purchase.

Enjoy,

Mara the giraffe on behalf of my friends at awamu

x

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Meet Jaliya & ‘Ja-Ja’ Regina

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

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..

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.

Carnival bunting by Robina

We’re in a celebratory kind of mood today….the suns out and we’re thinking about all the fun to be had over the summer….

So we though we’d celebrate by offering everyone a discount on some essential party equipment!

This carnival bunting has been handmade for you by Robina from an eclectic mix of african wax fabrics – each one is individual but they are all as lovely and colourful as the one pictured.

One string is £8 but our very special offer is two strings for £12

Enjoy the sun shine!

Sarah Namaganda shows you how to make her recycled paper beads

Sarah Namaganda shows you how to make her recycled paper beads….

You can buy Sarah’s necklaces in our shop

There is a massive problem with rubbish in the slums of Bwaise and Makerer as the goverment privatised collection and families can’t afford to pay for it to be taken away.

When there is heavy rain Bwaise and Makerer floods, rubbish gets washed into water channels that over flow and runs through peoples houses.

The women’s groups we work with are trying to find creative ways to recycle what is around them.

By buying these beads or any of our beautifully products you will be helping Sarah and the women we work with earn an income from there craft as well as helping them to change the lives of the most vulnerable children in their community me.

Each of Sarah’s necklaces are individual and unique – please take a look.

Sarah cares for 6 children (not 16 as she says in the video – lost in translation). Her own daughter and five adopted children including her niece Delphine.

Though she supports many more orphaned children in the community.

They live in small small hut made from corrugated iron and mud and with two people to a single bunk bead.

All of the children she looks after are in school she told us “I make these beads so my children can go to school. Education is everything , my children must go to school so they can all have better lives than this“.

 
 
Many thanks to Josie Gallo for editing my shoddy footage!

Your opinion please – what shall we make for you next?

sarah testing testing out new dress designs

Sarah experimenting with new dress designs

We’re currently pulling together ideas, designs and patterns to discuss with for Sarah and team in Kampala.

We know you want more animals, dresses and giraffe babygrows (we have a waiting list!) but what else would you like us to make for you?

Let us know what you think…there are only a few boundaries…

  • We mostly make for babies and children though we can be convinced to a few special items for grown ups
  • It must be made with minimum waste
  • It must be easy to transport from Kampala to the UK (i.e. not breakable or squashable or too bulky) 

I’ll be blogging from Kampala so you never know, you may even be able to see your suggestions go into production live!