The Shanti Uganda Society

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. All Shanti Uganda programs contribute to our guiding organizational 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 f...
May 7, 2014

Through the lens of a midwife

We want to share with you a very special blog written by one of our midwives at the Shanti Uganda Birth Centre. Today only your donation will be matched by Global Giving up to 30% so your dollar will stretch even further. Please consider making a donation today and supporting our midwives to provide the safest and most loving birth care to all mothers.  

Through the lens of a midwife, by Ssanyu Namuleme

Birth here in Uganda is not conducive to the mothers. Things such as gloves and birthing tools will not be provided for mothers at health centres.  There is no encouragement for the mothers to come with specific birth partners for support. Additionally, mothers that are deep in the villages are sometimes unable, or choose not to go all the way to the hospital or maternity center to give birth and have to rely on the traditional birth attendants.

When I was in Senior 5, one of my friends got pregnant.  She, like most girls who become pregnant early here, was sent out of school.  She attended her maximum of four prenatal visits entirely on her own.  When she went into labor, she was still on her own.  Due to societal pressures, our entire group of friends, and even her auntie, whom she was living with, had abandoned her.  She then called me, to tell me her situation.  I asked permission from my mother if I could join her, and I accompanied her to a private maternity center.  It was about 8 p.m. when we knocked on the door.  There was a midwife there who answered, but her attitude towards us was extremely negative.  She even slapped my friend when she was pushing.  There was no respect for my friend.  I was shocked and felt hurt.  From this moment on, I decided to join the midwifery world in order to see if all midwives behaved like that.  If that was the case, I wanted to be able to provide a different type of care for the mothers, but fortunately I have found a very caring and knowledgeable group of midwives to work with. 

I feel fortunate to work with Shanti because there are distinct between Shanti and other hospitals. Mothers get the best services because of the personal experiences of the different midwives Shanti has. We will teach teen girls different behaviors and workshops so they can avoid the same situation my friend found herself in.  Not to mention, Shanti is a learning center.  I look forward to the different training available to me, which enables me to grow as a midwife.

May 7, 2014


The following is a story of young girl whose life was positively impacted by Shanti Uganda's Teen Girls Health and Empowerment workshop. Today only Global Giving will be matching donations by 30%! Please consider making a donation today and help us give more girls the same opportunity as Justine

Justine is thirteen years old. Justine is bright and cheeky; a bit mischievous in a good-natured way. She loves to dance and stands out from all the other girls when she dances traditional Baganda dance. Traditional dance is her favorite. Justine wasn’t always such an extravert. Both of her parents died two years ago and when they did she came to live with Nagawa, Florence, traditional birth attendant, village health team volunteer, and Shanti Uganda staff member. Justine was withdrawn and isolated herself from her peers and others. Florence decided to send Justine with her own thirteen year old daughter Peace to Shanti Uganda’s upcoming Teen Girls Health and Wellness Workshop. The girls learned how to use re-usable menstrual pads during their menses, how to say no to early sex, and how to protect themselves against HIV and unwanted pregnancy. They had never had such classes like this at their school and they relished this new information and knowledge. But what made the greatest impression on Justine and was the beginning of a journey of self-discovery for this young woman were the practice of yoga and the participatory use of dance, drama, and sport to convey lessons. Justine discovered peace of mind in practicing yoga and found confidence in her natural ability as a performer. That was one year ago and it is hard to believe Justine was ever a reclusive girl. She is a mainstay of the Shanti Uganda family, and continues to share her experiences and what she learned from Shanti Uganda with her peers. She encourages her friends to also attend a Teen Girls’ Workshop. Justine now participates in the Teen Girls Health and Wellness Workshop not as an bitter and introverted girl but as a charismatic leader and positive role-model for young women.


Apr 23, 2014

A day at New Life Secondary

Tuesday, February 25th was an exciting day for the girls at the New Life Secondary School in Luwero District, Uganda. That day two midwifes from Shanti came to the school to teach more than 70 girls aged 17 to 19 about healthy relationships, HIV and family planning.

During the lesson, more and more girls came into the classroom – a very basic room with a board and some wooden school benches to sit on. On their faces you could see huge smiles and big expectations. One of the most important topics in that age are healthy relationships. What matters in a relationship? How can I protect myself from rape and abuse? Is it my fault and a man’s right if he is doing it to me? What are the risks of early pregnancy and unsafe abortion?

The girls were engaged and eager to learn. They made some notes in their books and were really interested. The girls learned about HIV transmission and how to protect themselves. The male teacher was asked to leave the room after the girls requested to talk about that “girls stuff” alone. While one of the midwives was demonstrating how to use a condom, you could barely stand the noise and the hard laugh of the girls.

In the end the girls had the chance to ask all of their questions so that they could go back to their daily life with some new skills and knowledge. Empowering and educating girls in a country like Uganda where women’s rights are still a challenging issue is the key to creating change! Let us keep on working together to create something great in the life of those girls!

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