Handmade by mothers in northern Uganda, these dolls tell a unique story. Named after Anek Grace, one of our seamstresses, these dolls allow mothers to work from home while earning an income. When you purchase a doll, $10 goes to our scholarship fund to support these mothers in paying their children's school fees.
Anek Grace's Story
"Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story. First, I would like to thank God because if there opportunities like this are there in your life, then God truly loves you. My name is Anek Grace. Born in Palaro, Labut Mu Gulu Uganda. I lost my father at a very young age. Being an orphan we extremely went through tough times which made me very unhappy growing up.
Not only as an orphan, I was abducted at the age of 8 at 9:00am on the 3rd of January 1995. This literally worsened my situation especially as an orphan growing up in a harsh and in humane situation and the lack of parents made grow without any guidance.
While in abduction on immediate arrival in our base in South Sudan I was forced to go with a Commander named Olany Geoffery and my initial thought was that he was going to take care of me as a father figure which would substitute my father but I was wrong. He forced me to his bed with machetes in his hands threatning to kill me. I ran for miles to look for safety but later was returned to my tormentor who continued to abuse me.
After 11 years in abduction I finally escaped and returned home and with all the difficulties I went through while I was in the bush I then realized I was HIV positive. My name Anek in Acholi means killer or to kill. I wanted to commit suicide, I felt ugly after being abused and tortured many times. I later trained as a seamstress, and then got employed.
Today I work at Wend Africa and feels so happy about the work I do, I have received a lot of skills including business training and most of all getting the basic education and I feel empowered. I work at Wend Africa as a trainer and I feel inspired.
The doll Atuku Grace is now very significant because it has been named after me. Atuku means beauty and after being empowered, I now feel more joyful and beautiful because my life has changed. I want to continue sharing my knowledge with others and end encouraging every woman that there is a second chance in life.
To date I am able to take care of my self and my siblings, get medication and feel very responsible. My scar of pain has healed and sharing this doll with you is an empowerment not only to me but many more. To date I am happily training 40 more women to equipped them with skills which I am happy to share so that they get a similar opportunity like me."