AWAMU (meaning Together) February 2013.
Drapers Organic are so pleased to have discovered, and been able to donate a variety of our hemp fabrics to Awamu. We would ask anyone else to think if they have any sewing materials, buttons or fabric that they may be able to give (to a London address), in order to help this very worthwhile cause.
Awamu is an inspirational initiative in Kampala, Uganda, founded by Emma Scullion, following her time at ActionAid. Emma and her volunteering team give their time for free to work with two women's groups in Kampala, Uganda, where they use fabric etc given or bought to make wonderful products which can then be enjoyed by us, our family and our friends. All the proceeds from these sales are used to transform the lives of the children in their care, some of whom were completely abandoned before being found and rescued by amazing women such as Regina. A training programme has also been set up to train other women how to sew in order for the network of self-help to grow. Please see the below for further information, written by Emma Scullion and copied from the Awamu website or go to www.awamu.co.uk.
by Emma Scullion of Awamu
"This is Regina with Jaliya when we first met in 2008. I went to Uganda for my work with ActionAid, I’d formed connections with people in projects before but this time I came away even more fuelled with a determination to help.
I met the most amazing people – people whose lives had been torn apart by hiv but still share what little they have and give all their energy to help those around them. People like Regina with a determination to make things different for their family and their community.
Regina and volunteers like her are the driving force behind transforming the lives of children like Jaliya in the slums of Bwaise and Makerere. From the very first time we met I was completely bowled over.
Regina is a widower and a grandmother, six of her own children have died of aids related illnesses. She is the sole provider for 12 children – nine grandchildren, one nieces and her adopted daughter Jaliya. They live in a room no bigger than 2×3 meters.
Yet along with network of other women, who have all been similarly affected by hiv, she gives all her time and energy to help the most vulnerable is her community.
They walk the streets of the slums seeking out children and adults in need of their support. They encourage adults 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.
Their support means the difference between life and death for the most vulnerable in their community.
They make us want to be a better people and we want to be able to look them in the eye and say yes we have done everything we can to help. So we’ve set ourselves the challenge of finding as many ways to help volunteers like Regina to step up their work in the community. We want to enable them to reach out to even more orphans and children with hiv – just as they did with Jaliya.
Through my work at ActionAidand through events put on by friends we are already helping 66 children in Bwaise and Maklerere with small grants to support them through seven years of primary education."
For further information, or to help with any spare fabric, sewing materials, buttons etc, please visit www.awamu.co.uk
Thank you taking the time to read this.
We are pleased to have supplied an innovative project called Oak Tree House with our hemp curtain panels for various room in the house, and our Natural Ivory hemp shower curtain for their bathroom.
Oak Tree House in Knaphill, Woking, is an ordinary three-bedroom detached house that has been refurbished to show local people how they can reduce their energy use and water consumption.
Working with its energy company, ecsc, building partner, Mansell Plc, and environmental partner, Woking LA21, Woking Borough Council has created the demonstration house to act as the focal point for its Low Carbon Homes Programme, which you can read about below.
The refurbishment has been designed to minimise the environmental impact of the house and maximise quality of life. It has been furnished using sustainable materials wherever possible and is intended to show that an energy and water-efficient house can also be a welcoming, attractive and comfortable home.
Oak Tree House has three different types of insulation to reduce heat loss and has a high-efficiency boiler and heating controls to provide heat where and when it is needed. Much of the hot water required in the house will be provided by a solar hot water system that harnesses the energy of the sun, reducing gas consumption and bills still further. Energy saving lights and appliances help to reduce the amount of electricity used in the house and a solar photovoltaic system will generate electricity from the sun’s energy.
Simple water-efficient shower and tap fittings reduce water consumption and a rainwater harvesting system provides water for flushing the toilet and for taps in the garden. This system and the permeable paving on the driveway will also contribute to efforts to reduce the risk of flash flooding in the Borough.
The garden at Oak Tree House has been designed with water and energy conservation in mind, too, with drought-tolerant planting and low-maintenance wildflower turf.
Tours of Oak Tree House can now be arranged via Woking Borough Council’s energy company, ecsc, by calling 0800 783 2503.