Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Day to Shop Awava for Christmas Delivery!

Our Uganda Friday 17th December, 2010

by Darlyne Komukama.
*Apologies for the late posting.

Kyadondo Rugby Club has not been the most popular place to hang out since the July bombings but that all changed when the first annual 'This Is Uganda' festival took place on Saturday 18th December.

Born of a shared love of cultural pursuits by the patrons at Iguana, 'This Is Uganda' put on a really good show and reminded the people who were there why we all love this country as much as we do.

With performances from huge names in rap (Navio), rock (The Uneven Band), RnB (Jamal) and DJ (DJ Tumz), the variety of entertainment catered for everyone. But that wasn't it. Entertainment is fun but there was also a message that was being passed on, this year's focus being the emancipation of women with an HIV/AIDS heavy theme.

All in all, the festival was a big hit and we can not wait for the next one.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Awava Gift Certificates Available NOW!

Overwhelmed with too many perfect Awava options for that special someone in your life? Why not give them an Awava gift card? Available in increments of $10, this sort of gift card will have people smiling from the US to Uganda.

Visit now to get yours!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Our Uganda Friday: BASKETS!

Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade retailer which Awava deeply respects, put together a very nice video about their Ugandan baskets a few months ago. The video features Betty Kinene, the amazing founder of Uganda Crafts 2000, Ltd., one of Awava's partners, AND shows our Musoke Basket for a split second in the intro!

On this Uganda Friday, please enjoy learning about how and why these beautiful baskets are made!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

LOLA Giant in Lawrence, Kansas THIS WEEKEND!

LAWRENCE, KS—The Ladies of Lawrence Artwork (LOLA) art cooperative will wrap up their sixth year of local art shows with a two-day arts and crafts sale, known as LOLA GIANT, on December 11-12. This Saturday through Sunday event will be held at the Van Go Mobile Arts gallery at 715 New Jersey and will feature over 25 local artists with items ranging from jewelry, clothing and pet accessories to stationery, sock monkeys and soaps.

While most LOLA events are held with a limited number of artists and space, LOLA GIANT is a much larger, comprehensive shopping experience. Designed for holiday shoppers, this event will feature a coat check and gift wrapping booth benefitting Van Go, delicious fairly traded coffee donated by The Bourgeois Pig, and live DJ services, compliments of Love Garden Sounds.

LOLA events feature the handiwork of Lawrence women and provide an intimate boutique-style shopping experience where visitors can browse and interact with the creators themselves. LOLA shows are organized by the participants and hosted by generous Lawrence businesses that support local artists and crafters.

Last year’s LOLA GIANT brought in nearly 500 shoppers in one day! The December 11-12 show will offer more merchandise and more time for shoppers. It is also an opportunity to show support for Lawrence’s unique and lively art scene.

To find out more about LOLA, check out the Facebook profile “LOLA Lawrence” on Facebook, and their blog at

Early Jewelry, Kylie Grater
little bluestem baby, Traci Furan
glitter & rust, Kendra Marable
Molly Murphy
Leslie Kay, Leslie Kuluva
KitMit, Kitty Steffens
The Dog House
Healing Moon, Cynthia Walker
awava., Kate von Achen
Sweet Cakes, Layla McEniry
evergreen terrariums, Cristina Estenes
Honeytree Gallery, Kate E. Burke
Butternutsquash, Larissa Wilson
filthEdesign, Emily Eakes
Ann Dean Photo
Red Designs, Rachel Dempsey
Kitty Reese
Alicia Kelly
Mixed Media, Stephanie Garrison
Stitchees, Kristen Kinsch
Crown & Heart Crochet, Linnea Doores
New Flight Apparel, Molly Crook
Jane Leek
Q to M, Quinn Morris
Feather Spring Arts, Megan Roelof

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Our Uganda Friday: Bouncing Cats!

by Kate von Achen

My second visit to Uganda, in January 2007, I was part of a delegation of student ambassadors studying the conflict in Northern Uganda. Our delegation was made up of university students, half of whom were American and the other half Ugandan. One of the most remarkable Ugandan participants, and still a good friend of mine here in Uganda, Abraham "Abramz" Tekya, was just starting his organization, Breakdance Project Uganda. BPU uses breakdance as a tool for social change, providing free classes to at risk children and teens in Kampala and Gulu. Abramz has seriously made a name for himself and for the project over the last few years. He has been visited in Uganda by some prominent figures in American breakdance and hip hop culture, such as Crazy Legs and Mos Def, and has had an award-winning documentary, Bouncing Cats, about him and his project launch this year. Chicago, you can view the documentary THIS SATURDAY at Northwestern!

In the meantime, check out the trailer!

BOUNCING CATS film trailer from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Our Uganda Friday: 26 November, 2010

by Hanna Schwing

If you live in the U.S. or you know an U.S. American, you know that yesterday was Thanksgiving. I still feel stuffed from yesterday's meal and exhausted from days of preparing to host a Thanksgiving feast with some of my Kampala family. I am nevertheless looking forward to going to the Dance Transmissions Festival this weekend.

From Friday to Sunday there are performances by dance companies from Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, DR Congo, USA, Japan and France at the National Theatre in Kampala. The festival is organized by Keiga Dance Company, which was founded by Jonas Byaruhanga in 2004. Entrance is 5,000 shillings (about $2 for you non-Uganda based readers). See the festival program in pdf here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

40% Off Our Online Stock PLUS Free Gift!

This Friday through Sunday take 40% off our ENTIRE online stock PLUS get a FREE GIFT with every $50 you spend at!

Enter coupon code: "thankful" at checkout!

click image to enlarge

Friday, November 19, 2010

Our Uganda Friday: 19th November 2010

When the International Hospital Kampala opened their charity ward, Hope Ward, Dr. Ian Clarke the proprietor was lauded with praise and recommendation for the wonderful thing he was doing for the country. This was in April of 2006, and through donations from the public and donors, the Hope Ward is able to treat those people who are too poor to afford their own medical care.

Last night, IHK teamed up with Qwela to produce a charity concert like none ever seen in Uganda before. The concert coincided with the release of Dr. Ian Clarke's new book 'How Deep Is This Pothole' which is an autobiographical account of Dr. Clarke himself but also traces the changes in Uganda throughout the last 20 years.

The concert interlaced Qwela's performances with readings from the book with a totally authentic ethnic feel that the band is best known for.

Each ticket was a modest 60,000 Uganda Shillings with all the proceeds from the ticket sales and sale of the books going to buy drugs to treat cancer patients on the Hope Ward.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Fabrics for New Products in the New Year!

TODAY! Awava @ Kansas State University Fair Trade Marketplace!

Hello Kansas! Don't forget, today and tomorrow Awava will be set up at the Kansas State University Annual Fair Trade marketplace in the KSU Union courtyard!

Come and pick up some gorgeous, handmade, fairly traded goodies for those special people in your life!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Awava's Kampala Holiday Sale @ KISU

Awava was at Kampala International School - Uganda Saturday for the International Women's Organization Annual Christmas Bazaar and we were a smash success! Our items were so popular that Hanna had to run out to pick up more product early in the day and we made several good connections for some exciting possibilities in the future! And of course we will keep you informed!

Due to our popularity, we only had time to snap these two photos while we were still setting up our table! But enjoy Darlyne's never-ending promotion of World peace.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Our Uganda Friday: 12 November 2010

by Hanna Schwing

Yesterday marked the opening night of the French-German Film Festival in Kampala, presented by the Goethe-Zentrum Institut Kampala and Alliance Francaise Kampala. Running from Thursday to Sunday, the festival screens feature length and short films from France, Germany, and Uganda at the Cineplex Cinema in Garden City mall.

The French-German Film Festival comes just after the 7th Amakula Kampala International Film Festival, which occurred from October 29th to November 6th. With a theme of Inevitable Transition, the festival screened over 200 films, most focusing on Africa, at the National Theatre and 20 video halls across Kampala.

It's a good time to be film lover in Kampala.

It's also a good time to be a craft lover in Uganda! Tomorrow is the International Women's Association Market Day Sale at the Kampala International School, Uganda. If you're in Kampala, come to Bukoto, say hello, and buy some fair trade goodies!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Gulu Adventure (mostly) in Photos!

by Kate von Achen

The Kampala-based Awava team headed to Gulu on Monday to pick up products, place orders and most importantly, hang out with the artisans and have a party! We have had a lot to celebrate, let me tell you! In August we conducted a three day business skills and development training with the ladies and insisted on two months of follow ups on their books before awarding them their certificates, and last month Awava moved in to a brand new workshop in Gulu! The new shop has lots of space, natural light and ELECTRICITY!

After shifting to the new space, we ordered various items to be made by Nelson, a fantastic carpenter in Gulu and as of today, an honorary member of the Awava team. We decided to wait until everything had been constructed before we had our shop warming party and blessing by Lucy's priest.

Looking for Mama Lucy? How about Awava? Follow the arrow!

Wow! What a beautiful shop! And awesome bikes!

Why is that car parked on the sidewalk?

What's this? Information about Awava and about the women of Konye Keni?!

There's Ocen Esther! Hard at work on some children's oven mitts!

I model one apron while using the other's as a pillow (Awava likes their products to be multi-purpose).

And there's Darlyne, promoting World peace while organizing our beautiful shelves made by Nelson!

Nelson hung our kitenge (wax print) fabric rack just in time to get the fabrics displayed before the blessing!

The rent we pay the landlord is made worth it by his two beautiful (an ornery) daughters.

Yay, Nelson! Nice rack and table!

Seriously, World peace is very important to Awava.

Lakot Rosemary working hard on a children's oven mitt for The Community Mercantile!

We wanted to have a video of the shop blessing here but the internet will not allow the upload. We will try again in a few weeks from the US!

Ocen Esther pours water for Father Cyprian to wash his hands before sharing out celebratory treats!

What on Earth?! Why it is Kate and Lucy's favorite! Mango juice and the "Awava burrito", a culinary delight consisting of chapati, Nutella and banana!

A little prayer before we eat.

Awava Workshop Blessing Party
From left to right: Father Cyprian, Lakot Rosemary, Ocen Esther (behind), Auma Lucy (front), Hanna Schwing, Lalam Santa (behind), Alur Josephine (front), Akello Susan, Akello Grace, Darlyne Komukama and Aisha.

Awava Founder, Kate von Achen, presenting Mama Lucy with her very much deserved business skills training certificate.

Ocen Esther, phenomenal tailor and very, very excitable!

A slightly more composed Ocen Esther.

Akello Grace: could build a city of paper, astounding treasurer for Konye Keni and can work wonders with wire!

Lakot Rosemary: stitchin machine! And we promise she is not in pain, she was trying her hardest to stop laughing uncontrollably. Awava loves laughter, and there is A LOT of it ALWAYS!

Lalam Santa: paper rolling wonder!

Auma "Mama" Lucy, the best tailor that ever was!

Alur Josephine, the paper bead machine!

Akello Susan: Paper Bead Goddess!