In 2005, while working as a public health professional in the Clarkston community, Doris Mukangu saw a major need among the underserved African Women Refugees and decided to do something about it. She started with health education, helping refugees navigate the daunting health system and gradually adding other services and programs such as the Amani Sewing Academy - In understanding how to work with hard to reach populations within this group, Doris used the right tools to empower refugee women in skills and languages they understand and in a manner they could relate to culturally.
Refugees arrive in their environment very optimistic about endless possibilities in their new home. Many receive social services for only 3 months, after which, they are on their own. Hence, the relevance of grassroots organizations like Amani Women Center that play a major role in helping refugees survive and thrive. In 2007, together with the help of a core team that believed in her vision, AWC became an official 501-C3 non-profit organization based in Clarkston Georgia. (The city with the most diverse square mile of refugees in America.)
Amani Women Center (AWC) educates and empowers both refugee and immigrant African communities in Clarkson, Atlanta metro areas including AWC's global initiative; which mirrors our mission and programs in local communities in different parts of Africa. Amani's global initiative includes artisans and partners in West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, and South Africa.
Mission & Vision
Our mission is to empower and educate refugee women through culturally-tailored programs that contribute to their economic security and overall wellbeing.
Our vision is to provide a one-stop safe haven for refugee women of all cultures, who are seeking a space for spiritual, mental, and physical healing.
What We Do
Refugees arrive in their environment very optimistic about endless possibilities in their new home. Many receive social services for only 3 months, after which, they are on their own. Hence, the relevance of grassroot organizations like Amani Women Center that plays a major role in helping refugees survive and thrive.
We are “Stitching Lives Together” for our program participants and the community through our wrap-around services – We believe in a holistic approach to ensure that refugee women and youth have improved well-being and are able to be productive members of their families and the community.
The Healthy Families program provides a safe space where refugee women come to be natured mentally, and physically for their well-being. The program helps them increase their ability to navigate social services, attain improved functional language, financial literacy, achieve and build healthy relationships within the family. Addressing Domestic Violence - Prevention and Sexual Assault – Healing.
A 12-month program that provides a safe space with sewing machines, industrial machines, instructors, counselors, case managers and a fabric room. Students get a sewing kit and all accessories. The program prepares individuals to sew for themselves, for their families, start their own entrepreneurial business, join the workforce — employment at the garment/apparel industry, work for local designers, do contractual piece work, or Join our team of sewers at Amani's social enterprise (Johari Africa).
Education & Leadership
AWC's community ambassador (ACA) program for women and youth receive training and skills to take on leadership roles in their communities. The Community Ambassadors are equipped with the right tools and skills. AWC language services are manned by the community ambassadors serving as advocates, they provide an added value to refugee women calling in to get help. A culturally competent team that is well versed in cultural nuances. They provide both oral interpretation services and written translation services. Kiswahili, (Swahili) Amharic, Tigrinya, Somali, Oromo, Arabic, French, Lingala, Kinyarwanda. Translators are provided to all clients and in addition, ACA helps the refugee woman apply for social services and much more.