Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's New at Amani is moving!

"What's New at Amani" will now be hosted at Please visit us at this new location and don't forget to update your blog reader or subscription with our new address.

Thank you for your interest and support of Amani ya Juu!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sasa teens explore real-life peace through real adventure

Amani Sasa had a successful adventure trip this month with a group of teens experiencing the principles of peace in their lives. Mary K. helped lead the trip and shared the following report and photos.

We had a wonderful time on our recent Amani Sasa outing. We went to Malewa park, which was the same place we went to last year. It is about two hours away from Nairobi. Eighteen our of 22 teens from the Sasa group were able to come, representing Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Sudan, and Kenya. We had heavy downpours of rains almost every afternoon, but we ate and played a lot and had great discussions and class time. We gave the group an assignment to come up with skits based on lessons they learned through Amani Sasa. And they surprised us with 45-minute dramas, well practiced and thought out.

A friend and local gospel singer joined us to help with the high ropes course. She shared her story on getting into wrong company, getting pregnant (she later had a miscarriage), and what it all meant for her life, family, church and ambitions. After she shared, there was silence for a while. Her story was the real-life evidence of the lessons they'd focused on in their skits. Later, we took some time to pray for one another, which felt like a great closure to all we learned together.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Amani Sasa: 2008 in Review

Mary Karanja (pictured here on the left) serves as the Accountant for Amani Nairobi. Mary also provides leadership for Amani Sasa - an extension of Amani Watoto that uses outdoor adventure experiences to impart the principles of peace to adolescent children of Amani women. Below is Mary's reflection on Amani Sasa's happenings in 2008.

Last year was one-of-a-kind in many ways for the young adults and leaders of Amani Sasa. We learned a lot about ourselves, about God and about those around us.

In August, the hike we went on provided a wonderful opportunity to catch up and reflect on the great impact Amani Sasa lessons have had on our lives. Foni, Eunice and Yves shared how even their friends have noticed significant changes in their lives, even explicitly asking them what it is that had changed to make them so very focused. DianaKate experienced growth of a different kind: she is now more courageous. In the last term of school, DianaKate walked with a friend grieving the loss of a parent through that very difficult season. These are just a few of the many tales of how these young adults have been impacted by the lessons and fellowship provided during Amani Sasa ‘08.

We wanted to end the year in the same way we spent the year together. What better way is there than by giving back to the community? In December, we volunteered at Happy Life Children’s Home in Nairobi, a home for abandoned and orphaned children. For two days we painted bedrooms, helped with cleaning, and spent the afternoons playing and singing with the children. We were struck by the children’s desperate desire for love and attention - so evident in their desire to be held all the time. We were thankful to be able to share with them the love and peace with which we ourselves have been blessed.

Our time at the Happy Life Children’s Home gave us yet another opportunity to grow. It opened our eyes to the fact there is something we can do to make a difference, if only by giving our time. The babies’ stories made us grateful for our own homes, family, and friends. Moreover, it spoke volumes of how much God cares about our needs just from watching and listening to how faithfully He has provided for this particular home with food, clothing and friends that walk in and give in kind or financially.

And of course, another major milestone was receiving new friends who have just graduated from Amani Watoto into Amani Sasa. We are very excited to have them with us and look forward to seeing how they will grow together with us in the coming years.

We are very grateful to those that continually supported us through last year. The Amani Sasa program could not have blossomed as richly as it did without your love.


Mary K.

Amani Sasa is a supplemental program to Amani's self-sustaining work and is supported by donations.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sankofa featured in WORLD Magazine

Happy New Year from the Amani family!

We begin 2009 with an exciting feature in WORLD magazine on Amani's Sankofa event this past fall. Written by Zoe Sandvig, a friend of Amani in the DC area, the article is a brief glimpse of the way Sankofa told stories of hope and reconciliation through creative designs and expressions.

You can read the article online here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Greetings from Amani!

December 2008

Dear friends of Amani,

As we celebrate the peace of our Lord this Christmas, we also want to celebrate an amazing opportunity He has given us to continue to share His peace globally.

The Amani family has grown tremendously since its inception in 1996. As part of the Amani philosophy, the family always looks to find ways to pass peace to others. In this way, the women of Amani Nairobi reached out to plant centers in Rwanda and Burundi. In recent years, as Amani's message of peace shared through beautiful products has been carried around the globe, we have seen the Amani family grow tremendously in the United States. This partnership has provided stability and growth for the Amani women in Africa. It has also added great diversity to our family where we are mutually impacted by the peace from continent to continent. As a result, the Amani family in Africa has decided to plant another center - this time in the US!

Join us!
Passing peace in this way from Africa to America is a groundbreaking step for Amani and has been met with much excitement and anticipation. This new home for Amani will be located in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Washington DC. Please join us in this celebration of growth as we set up AmaniDC. You can lend a helping hand if you are in the vicinity, donating materials for the offices or retail store, or give a donation to help offset start-up costs. What do we need? Click here for an updated list of items. On Thursday, December 18th, AmaniDC will host an informal, pre-opening event to introduce Amani to the area just before Christmas. If you live in the DC area, please come check out the new location. Bring some cookies to share and your Christmas list! open-house details AmaniDC will open officially on January 7, 2009.

The Amani women in Africa have inspired us to own our part of passing peace on American soil.
AmaniDC will be more than just a retail outlet for Amani products; it will be a welcoming space much like its mother center in Nairobi where peace and love prevails. Over the years, we have learned priceless lessons from the Amani women in Kenya. We have learned what it means to love in spite of our differences, to extend grace even when we have been wronged, to forgive our enemies, and, most remarkably, to live in peace and unity together as a diverse and transformed community. We desire for this to be a place where all are welcome. AmaniDC will provide a gathering place for visitors, friends, and customers to share a safe and peaceful haven. We welcome you to come and visit us!

Amani has come to America. In taking this bold step of faith, we owe much to our African sisters who planted seeds of peace in the hearts of women throughout the world. Our African Amani family will continue to walk with this new young Amani center as she grows, modeling what it means to live to in peace and harmony in the DC community. We invite you to join us in this journey.

May you enjoy the abundance of our Lord's peace this Christmas season as we celebrate His birth and work of transformation.

Glory to God in the highest,

Becky Chinchen
Executive Director

PS If you would like to read more about AmaniDC please take a look at our blog.

If you are interested in donating to set up costs, please click here to give a gift in-kind, or consider donating below. Asante sana!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Experience Sankofa online!

Didn't get to attend one of the Sankofa shows during our US Tour? We'd love to share a glimpse of these remarkable events with you.

You can watch the show online thanks to Forest Hill Church, our hosts in Charlotte, NC. Check it out at:
Note: Due to a technical glitch, the narration pieces before each of the three sections of the show are not included in this recording.

Also, here are a few photos of the DC event, courtesy of Jillian Pichocki Photography (

Goretti in Transformation.

Stella in Transformation.

Gladys in Transformation.

Rahab and Goretti in Transformation.

Gladys, Catherine, and Stella in Transformation.

Rahab in Celebration.

Final touches backstage.

Narrators shared vignettes of the experiences women bring to Amani.

Modeling the Pamba Collection.

Thanks to our many volunteers who helped make the US Tour possible.

The Amani family came together in celebration of this momentous occasion!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Looking Back. Walking Forward.

Thank you to everyone who attended and supported Amani's Sankofa US Tour!

We were amazed by the warm welcome that the team received in Orlando, Dallas, Charlotte, and Washington. The tour was a busy two weeks of shared stories, new experiences, incredible shows, and lots of food and hospitality.

All ten women from Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi have safely returned home. The sign pictured here shows the sign that welcomed the team back to the Nairobi center.

Also, Zoe Sandvig of Prison Fellowship attended the DC area Sankofa event on October 17th. She wrote about her experience for The Point. Check it out here.

Thanks again for joining us in this journey to look to the past and walk to the future!