How 2019 Refined Us

This is a post about gratitude. 2019 has been a tough year for us, I am truly thankful that we are finishing 2019 stronger than we started. 

On many occasions this year I’ve thought that AMMA might not see 2020. The AMMA that existed a year ago is a different organization to the one that exists now, and we will be a different organization again in three months time. 

This year, crisis has refined us. Its made us see what’s important and it’s given me the boldness to take risks during periods of uncertainty. Founding a social enterprise is easy, sustaining it, retaining and growing your vision for it is hard. Your venture is a shadow of you, and it dosen’t give you a break when your personal life takes a hit. 

AMMA has been many things for me this year; sanctuary, purpose, fight, burden and expectancy. 

I’ve been carrying something of AMMA since I was 24 and for the first time this year I was forced to geographicaly step away and take on a new role. 

I was in Scotland when I heard about the bombings that targeted churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. And I was on the underground in London when I read the front cover of the Metro newspaper that mentioned our little town of ‘Hawa Eliya’ where explosive materials were found and a terrorist training camp uncovered close by, the situation which felt disastrous but distant became a lot closer. Alongside the grief I felt for this little island and its people who Id grown to call home I knew that this would ripen the underlying political and religious tensions caused by the political coup 6 months earlier.

During this time I remember feeling fear that AMMA might not make it, changes in my visa meant that the dynamics were imminently changing and the commitment i’d made to provide jobs to my team felt like a huge pressure.

Eight months on, I write this from New Zealand. Yes, with cash flow issues, staff problems and business registration nightmares but also with a new strength, because 2019 has taught me that crisis refines us and because of that I have nothing to fear.

This is the first draft of a video shot in the AMMA workshop back in January; before we new how the following months would unfold. Together our team speaks our Manifesto, and it makes me incredibly proud that we kept fighting this year, because I have a feeling that what we exist for is more significant and important than we realize.



“Grown colour.

Cultivated then extracted, delicately formed by nurturing hands. Her thoughts of those who will treasure each product,
giving old skills new life.

The wholesome act of collecting; waste avocado stones, or walking in the forest to gather fallen eucalyptus leaves.

Our raw canvas, livelihood-providing cloth, unbleached, perfectly awed, fostering colour.

The hammering of sewing machines overheating under confident hands.

Native tongue echoing through the workshop, sound that carves the space and brings form to the everyday.

A feminine disruption, to lead the way.

Mother made.”

From everyone at AMMA we wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Josie x