Kate von Achen, our Founding Director, graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in Political Science in 2006. The following summer, Kate traveled to East Africa for the first time to work with fair trade coffee cooperatives in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with United Students for Fair Trade. Kate immediately fell in love with Uganda and could not wait to return. Six months later she found herself back where she felt she was meant to be for a few weeks working alongside Ugandan university students studying the war in norther Uganda with Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army. It was then that she decided to move full time to Uganda to obtain her MA in Peace and Conflict Studies at Makerere University.
Shortly after moving to Uganda, Kate decided to start Awava to work to promote income generating activities among women affected by the war.