Q & A with Shanti Uganda
On Inspiring Futures for Ugandan Girls
Mothering has the great opportunity to work with Lunapads and Shanti Uganda on their program for Inspiring Futures for Ugandan Girls. Many of our readers know Shanti Uganda for the fundraiser initiative we are currently hosting (December 1- January 12,2012) to supply feminine health packages and educational workshops to a community of 300 girls and young women in Kasana, Uganda; however, this is only a myopic glimpse into Shanti Uganda's vast programs. Below, we have a Q&A with the Community Director from Shanti Uganda, who gives us great insight into the vast benefits that the organization offers developing communities in Uganda.
Mothering: What does Shanti Uganda do?
Shanti Uganda: The Shanti Uganda Society works to improve infant and maternal health, provide safe women-centered care and support the well-being of birthing mothers and women living with HIV/ AIDS in Uganda. To see our mission, values and vision please visit our website at www.shantiuganda.org.
Mothering: Where does Shanti Uganda work?
Shanti Uganda: Shanti Uganda is located in Luweero District in central Uganda. Luweero District was the site of a fierce insurgency during the 1980’s known as the “Bush War,” which left many thousands of civilians dead. The Birth House and LearningCentre is located in Nsaasi Village near Kasana (a town within Luweero).
Mothering: What programs does Shanti Uganda offer to work with the community?
Shanti Uganda: The Shanti Uganda Birth House is a solar powered maternity centre. The Birth House provides mother-centered care throughout pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period and is staffed by a team of skilled Ugandan Midwives.
Shanti Uganda also runs prenatal classes, as well as a Community Garden Program that focuses on providing agricultural training for the community.
To continue our work with women and girls, Shanti Uganda also runs a Teen Girls Empowerment Program as well as works with our Women’s Income Generating Group to produce fair trade jewellery and textiles. http://www.shantiuganda.org/pages/program
Mothering: Why will teen girls in this community benefit from health and wellness empowerment workshops?
Shanti Uganda: The Bush War heavily affected much of the communities Shanti Uganda works with in the 1980s. Large portions of the women and children experience a great deal of trauma as a result of abuse, rape, HIV/AIDS and poverty. Our programs seek to work with girls in the community to provide classes that focus on health and empowerment to enable girls to become more aware and confident in their bodies.
Shanti Uganda: The workshops consist of a series of classes that focus on health, empowerment and storytelling and are facilitated by our Ugandan Midwives. The workshops empower young girls to become more aware and confident in their bodies and include discussion time, team building exercises, partner yoga and breath work.
Each workshop covers the importance of the many roles women fill in Uganda, enables each participant to choose a role model to turn to for questions regarding health, sex, HIV and improving their general well-being. During the interactive workshops, the girls are given multiple opportunities to discuss openly and ask questions in a safe environment about safe-sex, healthy relationships, menstruation, the importance of proper nutrition, preventing HIV/AIDS and supporting those living with HIV/AIDS. http://www.shantiuganda.org/pages/holistic-health
Mothering: How do you select the women in your Women’s Income Generating Group?
Shanti Uganda: Each woman that participates in our Women’s Income Generating Group is a mother or grandmother within the community who has HIV or AIDS. Each woman must be taking anti-retrovirals to participate in the program. Currently the group consists of 21 women. The women participate in our beading and textiles groups where Shanti Uganda provides fair trade prices for the products bought.
Interested in helping?
We need your help to reach our goal. Mothering is inspired by Shanti Uganda and Lunapads' initiatives in Uganda. Our goal is to raise $4500 by January 12th. That's only $15 a girl. For this reason we kindly ask for donation in $15 increments. Anyone who makes a donation of $30 (2 girls) will receive a bracelet, and donations of $60 (4 girls) will receive a necklace form the community as appreciation of your support.
To join us and donate to this fundraiser please go to http://lunapads.com/donate/mothering-fundraiser.html
Thank you for your time and support!
Thanks to our supporters:
Earth Mama Angel Baby: $400
Moon Mysteries: $280
MDC Members: $ 150
Total Raised: $1280 = 85 out of 300 girls are covered.
We have 215 more to go!