Our Story

Awava works with women artisans in post-conflict Uganda on design and innovation, adding value to their existing skills and creating market linkages locally and internationally in an effort to empower families and alleviate poverty.
Awava works to enhance entrepreneurship, business and artisinal skills each chance they get, conducting practical trainings, boosting each woman's capacity, which in turn boosts the capacities of the home and community. 

Awava founder, Kate von Achen, traveled to Uganda in 2006 to work with fair trade coffee farmers, again in January 2007 to work alongside Ugandan university students to examine the war in Norther Uganda with the Lord’s Resistance army, and subsequently moved to Uganda in August 2007 to obtain her M.A. in Peace & Conflict Studies at Makerere University. Focusing on the effects of Western market  access on women in post-conflict development, and working to train tailors in two Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Gulu District in Northern Uganda, von Achen saw first-hand the holistic  improvements in the livelihoods of the women, families and communities with whom she worked.  Awava was born as a full-fledged business in September 2008.

Awava works to empower women in Uganda in the following ways:
~Teach new and improve upon existing artisinal skills;
~Improve artisan's local business through business skills & entrepreneurship training, teaching the women how to     cost products, keep books and how and why to establish group and individual savings;
~Assist in the opening of bank accounts;
~Create market linkages for artisan products locally and internationally;
~Provide interest-free credit, in the form of cash advances, for artisans for spending on education, healthcare and business investment;
~Provide additional technical skills such as computer and internet usage.

To learn more about Awava, please visit our website, "like" us on Facebook, & follow us on Twitter.