Yesterday (1/22/2011), I had the opportunity to visit two very special organizations. The first Kazuri (www.kazuri.com) and the other Amani ya juu (http://www.amaniafrica.org/) are both organizations that promote the status of women in some unique ways. Kazuri provides employment for women by making beads and Amani provides employment for women by sewing wonderful quilts that tell the story of reconciliation.
Here is what seems to be the basis of their success. First, they have big ideas but have pursued them in small ways. Thinking about helping marginalized women is a big idea but their responses have been small steps that have resulted in growing effective organizations. Second, they both have found art as a medium to communicate their mission to other women. There is truth in beauty and what they create is truly beautiful.
What was exciting to see at Amani was a new focus on the importance of children as “vehicles” of learning and passing this peace. These women have a joy, vision and approach to healing that we all should support!