This podcast with Natalie Angell-Besseling of Shanti Uganda first ran last year. I love what Natalie’s doing, though, so I wanted to take this chance to share our discussion again.
Sometimes, in life, things happen serendipitously. This is how I came into contact with Natalie Angell-Besseling, 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:
For another example of serendipity at work, tune into my podcast next week with Crystal Stranaghan. Through happenstance Crystal and I were on a panel together at a local blogging and social media conference, and I found her inspiring. I knew I had to speak with her. If you could use a little bit of creative inspiration as well, you’ll want to hear our conversation. Subscribe to my podcast in iTunes and make sure you don’t miss a thing!