@shantiuganda // Luwero District, Uganda
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.
Maternity Centre: We offer educational workshops for midwives and traditional birth attendants, preventative care, birth supplies and assist birthing women in the gentle welcoming of their babies. Our approach to women’s health is holistic, comprehensive, preventative and empowering. We see this model as a basic human right and one that will foster sustainable, safe and peaceful communities.
Women’s Income Generating Group: The Shanti Uganda Society has carried out 3 training programs and graduated over 28 women from our Income Generating Training Program. Each woman must be HIV positive and either a grandmother taking care of multiple grandchildren, a widow or in a situation of extreme poverty. Upon graduation, participants become members of our women’s group, receive a certificate of graduation, all of the supplies needed to begin her craft and on-going support and education. Members of either the textiles or beading group make an average of $50/month and attend regular Shanti Uganda buying days. Products are sold all over North America, online, at festivals and at home or work-place Shanti Uganda Parties.
The women who make up the Women’s Income Generating Group are trained how to make the jewelry and bags out of recycled paper and African fabrics and then separated into a Bead Group and Textiles Group.
The materials are handpicked by coordinators of each group throughout markets in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The recycled paper selected by the women, which includes old newspapers and magazines, comes from all over East Africa and is sent to a large paper market in this region. Back at the Shanti Site in Kasana, Luwero District, north of Kampala, the paper is cut into long triangular shapes by the Bead Group, rolled tightly into diamonds and then varnished and laid out in the sun to dry! The beads are then threaded together and clasped with string and clasps purchased in Kampala.
The fabric for the bags comes from neighbouring countries and is sewn into beautiful bags by the Textiles Group on the Shanti site. Shanti Uganda buys shipments of products from the woman well above fair trade prices and Ugandan market prices every month so as to guarantee the women a livable monthly income.