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Jan 29 2013

Maternal Health, Women Empowerment and Shanti Uganda

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. 

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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.

 

MISSION

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.

VISION

We imagine a world where birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS are supported, empowered and able to develop to their full potential.

VALUES

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.

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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

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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.

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