Sometimes, in life, things happen serendipitously. This is how I came into contact with Natalie Angell, Co-founder and Executive Director of Shanti Uganda. I just happened to be copied on an email that had nothing to do with me, in which Natalie talked about her involvement with Shanti Uganda, and I knew right away that I wanted to talk to her. This is what I love about podcasting – it gives me an excuse to email strangers and ask to have a conversation with them.
So what is it about Natalie that compelled me to talk with her? It’s all about the Shanti Uganda Society, the non-profit group that she helped found. It started with a vision to bring healing to communities in Uganda experiencing trauma, through yoga and conscious birth. Northern Uganda has been ravaged by war, and the people there are still dealing with the effects of that. It touches all aspects of their lives, even decades after the fighting has stopped.
Shanti Uganda’s biggest project is the Birth House, which opened last year. Through the Birth House they offer educational workshops for midwives and traditional birth attendants, as well as preventative care, birth supplies and assistance for birthing women. They’re also working hard to reduce HIV/AIDS transmission rates from mothers to their babies. But that’s not all Shanti Uganda does. They many other initiatives, including supporting HIV-positive women through their Women’s Income Generating program. They have a very practical approach, and they’re empowering people to make their own lives better. I am really inspired by what they’re doing.
There’s really a whole lot more that I haven’t mentioned here. Shanti Uganda’s work with teen girls, their commitment to ensuring that all of their projects are locally initiated and supported, and their efforts to ensure that all of their positive change will be self-sustaining are amazing. If you’d like to hear more, or find out how you can support the work that Shanti Uganda does, I encourage you to listen to the podcast, or visit Shanti Uganda online:
If you’re as inspired by what Natalie is doing as I am, you’ll want to catch my podcast next week, when I speak with Madeleine Shaw, the founder of Lunapads. Together with her partner Suzanne Siemens she will actually be traveling to Uganda with Natalie next January. She has helped to support Shanti Uganda’s work for years, as well as doing her own work to improve life for girls in developing countries through her Pads4Girls initiative. If that sounds like your thing, subscribe to my podcast and make sure you don’t miss a thing!