Shanti Uganda. Close to my heart, yet far away.
Today I would like to share something that has been close to my heart for many years now. As many of you who have been here before know my life’s path is always in service to the divine feminine and so what I want to share today will come as no surprise.
A short story: Sometime in 2006 Natalie Angell the director of Shanti Uganda walked into my home office which at the time was Mama Goddess Birth Shop headquarters and told me about the work she was doing in Uganda with women. Natalie shared with me her personal experiences and explained how high the mortality rate is for mothers and their babies. I had no idea that 1 in 22 women die during childbirth because of a severe shortage of doctors across Africa and access to care very limited in rural areas, and because of the lack of simple supplies such as soap and gloves.
Natalie asked me if I would be interested in donating some of the midwifery supplies I carried to these women.
Not only was I able, I had stacks of supplies that had been given to me by another women who had to go out of business suddenly due to the tragic death of her husband.
This woman would have been my major business competitor, and yet we became fast friends and she asked if I could pass these things on so that there was so me good that came of it all. I had boxes of sterile gloves and blue pads, I had umbilical cord clamps and the list goes on and on! Life seems to be like that, providing when we need!
Needless to say it all went to Shanti Uganda that year and I got more involved then I ever knew I would.
Natalie and I went on to create Birth Kits, these were small kits with all of the essential things that a woman needs to give birth and for postpartum, all packed into a large zip lock bag and sent with volunteers to Uganda over the next 3 years.
In that time Natalie spearheaded the purchase of land and built a Birth house that now services women who would normally have to get themselves Shanti Uganda also has 3 paid midwives and various programs for HIV women to generate their own income, the accomplishments are incredible for such a short time and the difference in these woman’s lives there are simply no words for!
The birth house went from this:
To this, in just under a year!
Since that time I have stayed involved with Shanti, and for the past 2 years I have been serving as an ambassador.This year however I find myself moving from that role and onto the Board of directors. This time I am more involved in Shanti Uganda’s everyday goings on, which has been an inspiration and I am finding that it is passionate and inspired work!
It is my hope that one day I will actually board an airplane and go there!
Here is where you, my community comes in, Shanti Uganda has launched an incredible new program called Birth Partners, allowing those of us who feel called to support a midwife in her work to be of use. The birth Partners program money–ALL OF IT, goes directly to paying our midwives and buying the supplies and running of the birth house, for the proper care of mothers as they give birth.
If you feel called to help out in any way I urge you to visit the Shanti web-site as they have necklaces and bags created by the HIV woman’s income generating program and of course if you become a Birth Partner there is a drop down menu where you can choose Red Moon musings and they will send you a beautiful necklace as well as a card with more information on it. The cost to becomes a birth partner is as little as $25 a month.
Because I am passionate about this work I am honored to say that my shop over at Red Moon designs will be donating a percentage of all my sales over the next year to the Birth Partners program.
As one last thing I would like to mention that if you feel called to actually go to Uganda there are 2 opportunities coming up this year! One to train as a birth Doula and one to Celebrant Uganda in a once n a lifetime trip!
Close to my heart yet so far away, Shanti Uganda is creating real change for the women they work with and one I just had to share!
Activating change one woman, one mother at a time!