As I have always said and believed, the day I became a mother, a new person in me came into life, one that has never existed before. This is not a Mother's Day post but just the same, I just want to reiterate how important a mother's role is. The birthing process is maybe one of the most difficult but rewarding experience a woman can have. I am sure many of us, if not all, have given birth in a hospital with all the proper amenities. In this light, we are very lucky to have such privilege not to mention the regular OB-GYN visits we have for pre-natal check ups.
Not many of us know that in Uganda a lot of women are infected by HIV/AIDS. Aside from that, because it is a poverty-stricken nation, a lot of women especially the birthing ones are not given enough medical attention.
Shanti Uganda Society is the brainchild of Natalie Angell-Besseling, a yoga teacher & doula with a background in international development. Shanti Uganda's first programs began in 2008 with a vision to unite traditional birthing practices with modern best practices along with that to provide conscious birth training for communities impacted by war, poverty and HIV/AIDS. Natalie had a trip in Uganda in 2007, after volunteering as doula at a local hospital, she met a group of women who are making papers beads. A series of other meetings and work with the community lead to the selection of 600 HIV positive women to form Shanti Uganda's first income generating group. A community birth centre is the main goal in forming the organization.
The Shanti Uganda Society improves infant and maternal health, provides safe women-centered care and supports the well-being of birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
We imagine a world where birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS are supported, empowered and able to develop to their full potential.
Community Participation: All projects are locally initiated and supported with a deep sense of solidarity and ownership. Work on the ground is supported through the time, passion and employment of the local communities we work with. Unity: We support and embrace everyone within the global family and believe in the power of unity to change the world. Moving towards a vision of ‘we’ allows us to act and serve from a place of love and compassion. Sustainability: Our projects reflect our deep respect for the earth and all those who live here. Each project is able to sustain itself over time and provide long-lasting benefits for generations to come. Traditional Values and Knowledge: We believe in the sacred power of traditional healing, wisdom, culture and community. All projects are rooted in cultural sensitivity and reflect the knowledge of the given community.
Some interesting facts about Shati Uganda:
- has assisted bringing 113 new lives into the world safely, peacefully
- over 400 mothers and partners were tested for HIV and other STIs
- provided 1000 antenatal care appointments
- run a weekly infant immunization and family planning program
Shanti Uganda's services need to expand to meet the increasing needs of the community and support its BIG goals for 2013!
Check out a lot of ways you can contribute to a year of growth and improved maternal health in Uganda.
Get involved and help Shanti Uganda…
You can visit http://shantiuganda.org/ for more information
This is a post for Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.