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Shanti Uganda Society

Our Mission -

The Shanti Uganda Society improves the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of communities impacted by war, poverty and HIV/AIDS in Uganda.

Our Work

Through the use of yoga, the healing arts and health education, participants are empowered to heal from the inside out and to facilitate positive change in their communities. Birth Programs improve child and maternal health and restore traditional birthing practices in rural communities through education and birth assistance. Sustainable community development initiatives include a scholarship and skills training program and income generating initiatives for women with HIV/AIDS.

Birth

Birth Education, Assistance and Training

The birthing culture in Uganda has been deeply impacted by medicalization. This has largely impacted traditional birthing practices and resulted in high intervention rates. In a country where sanitation and medical facilities are lacking, high cesarean section rates, routine episiotomy and other interventions lead to infection and death. Without continued access to education and supplies, these practices put the birthing mother and her child at risk.

We offer educational workshops for midwives and traditional birth attendants, preventative care, birth supplies and assist birthing women in the gentle welcoming of their babies. Our approach to women’s health is holistic, comprehensive, preventative and empowering. We see this model as a basic human right and one that will foster sustainable, safe and peaceful communities.

Our goal is to lower maternal and infant mortality rates, reduce HIV/AIDS transmission rates from mother to child, improve access to education and supplies and honour every birthing woman.

The Shanti Uganda Birth House & Learning Centre

In partnership with the Earth Rising Foundation, Bishop Asili Clinic, the community of Kakira-Soweto and with the financial support of Off The Mat Into The World, building for the Birth House & Learning Centre begins Nov 2009.

This community project will be made with natural building materials and will provide a safe place for women to receive care and birth their babies in an empowering, home-like environment where they receive nutritious food from the garden and continual support. It will also provide space to hold workshops with local midwives and Traditional Birth Attendants and give the women in the income-generating group a place to meet and work.

Currently the women in the community have no health centre or access to medical support when complications arise during the birth process. By the time they make their way on the back of a bumpy motorcycle ride to the closest clinic, it is often too late. Our goal is to lower maternal and infant mortality rates, reduce HIV/AIDS transmission rates from mother to child, improve birth outcomes and access to education for Traditional Birth Attendants and provide a safe and empowering place for women to welcome their babies into the world. In addition, it will provide employment opportunities for the local community.


Holistic Health

Yoga and Health

Yoga provides children and youth the tools they need to discover their bodies, emotions and feelings. These classes are held with both young children and youth and provide them with the opportunity to gather together, share their feelings, work as a team and reduce stress. Many of the children supported in the program have lost loved ones and experienced a great deal of trauma in their young lives. Classes include partner work, art, relaxation techniques, laughter and sharing. We focus on the importance of healing the self and then taking those changes out into our communities.

We also run a special group for teen girls where the girls are introduced to the benefits of yoga, given reusable menstrual pads and the opportunity to discuss health related issues.

Nutritional Health

The Shanti Uganda Society supports locally initiated projects that improve the nutritional health of communities on an ongoing basis. Our chicken coop project was built by the local community and increases the daily nutritional intake of children who have lost either one or both parents.