Shanti Uganda has been blessed with an incredible year! We could not have done it without our amazing volunteers, donors, sponsors, supporters, partners, advisors, and friends! Here are just a few of the highlights of 2013!!
Shanti Uganda is selected as a Girl Effect partner!! Shanti Uganda’s Teen Girls Health and Empowerment program gives participants the skills, education, peer support and role models they need to succeed in life and be leaders in their communities!
The year began with an exciting transition in leadership. After five passionate years of guiding the organization, founder Natalie Angell-Besseling decides to step away and turn her focus to her family. Always believing that no organization should ever rely on the notoriety of its founder, Natalie passes the reigns to former Project Coordinator, Sadie St. Denis.
On March 8th Shanti Uganda staff and beneficiaries celebrate International Women’s Day in Kampala. This well-attended festival provides a platform for women to express themselves through discussion, networking, music, poetry, sport, comedy and fashion.
Songs for a Birth House is Shanti Uganda’s First Annual Benefit Concert! Hosted on April 19th, a variety of local artists such as Ashley Pitre, Hannah Epperson, Buckman Coe, and Jasper Sloan Yip entertain concert goers at St. James Hall.
In the same month, Shanti Uganda hosts it’s second fundraiser in Uganda at the Fairway Hotel. The laid-back event is held on April 26th and includes art, live music, snacks and great company!
May is an exciting and particularly noteworthy month with the release of Shanti Uganda’s newest Profile Video on Mother’s Day, and news that Shanti has been selected to accept the prestigious Crystal of Hope Award later that month in Vienna, Austria.
On May 25th Shanti Uganda’s Executive Director, Sadie St. Denis, travels to Vienna, Austria to accept the prestigious Crystal of Hope Award at Life Ball 2013. Shanti Uganda is chosen along with two other non-governmental organizations to receive the award on behalf of The Girl Effect. The Award is presented annually to an organization for outstanding projects in the fight against HIV/AIDS and is endowed with EUR 100,000 sponsored by Swarovski. The Award was presented by Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank, while other guest speakers included Bill Clinton and Elton John.
Shanti Uganda midwife, Namuganza Stella, is awarded a full scholarship to pursue a Bachelor of Nursing at the highly regarded Makerere University. Only one scholarship is awarded to a deserving student each year.
Shanti sees greater involvement by community members and parents in our Teen Girls Health and Empowerment program than ever before. Proud parents attend Graduation Day and have the opportunity to hear their daughters present on the life-skills and lesson they’ve learned during the week long program.
On August 29th Shanti Uganda’s Executive Director traveled to Singapore to participate in Project Inspire‘s Grand Finals and convince judges that Shanti Uganda’s Women’s Income Generating Group should be awarded $25,000. Shanti Uganda was selected 1 of 10 Finalists from over 570 applications to Project Inspire 2013 and given the opportunity to showcase our work on the world stage. Launched in 2011 by UN Women Committee Singapore and MasterCard Foundation, Project Inspire presents 18-35 year olds with a 5-minute platform to pitch their inspired idea to empower women and girls through entrepreneurship and win a US$25,000 grant. Though Shanti Uganda did not take home the grand prize, many valuable connections were created.
Shanti Uganda hires new midwife, Katushabe Gloria. Gloria is originally from Kabale, a beautiful town by Lake Bunyonyi on the Rwandan Border but moved to Kasana after hearing about Shanti while attending a workshop with Cathy, one of our midwives. At only 23 years of age, Gloria is one of Shanti’s youngest midwives but she has trained at one of the country’s most prestigious nursing schools and has proven herself more than capable of learning new techniques and providing safe mother-centered care.
Shanti begins to see higher than ever attendance of dads at pre/postnatal appointments and births this year! This doting dad spent the day at Shanti with his wife to discuss their family planning options – but never tore his eyes away from their beautiful daughter.
Shanti hires a new Nursing Assistant to keep up with the increasing demand for services by the local community. Cissy is 27 years old (and has asked that we don’t forget her birthday on June 26;). She is from Mukono, a town halfway between Kampala and Jinja and has two daughters, Sierra, who is 4 and Cynthia, 2.
On October 20th Shanti Uganda hosts it’s 5th Annual Evening of Art at Maurya Indian Cuisine. The highly-anticipated event sells out and raises almost $15,000 in support of holistic maternal and infant health, adolescent sexual reproductive health, and the empowerment of women living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
On October 1st Jane Drictha arrives in Uganda to lead Shanti Uganda’s 10-day Mothering the Mother Doula Training at the Birth House!
Miss Uganda visits Shanti Uganda Maternity and Learning Centre! During an interviewing shortly after being crowned Miss Uganda, Stellah Reever expressed a desire to work with Shanti Uganda to help women affected by HIV/AIDS and work with projects for teens.
WE CARE SOLAR donates one of their innovative and award-winning Solar Suitcases to Shanti Uganda. The user-friendly Suitcase powers overhead LED lighting, charges cell phones, and includes LED headlamps and a fetal doppler. WE CARE Solar believes in reducing maternal mortality in developing regions by providing health workers with reliable lighting, mobile communication, and blood bank refrigeration using solar electricity.
Veteran Shanti midwife Nambwere Joyce gets married!! Joy marries her dream man on December 8th with colleague and friend Ssanyu by her side. Shanti staff and volunteers are also there to support Joy on her big day. The event brings together the whole village in traditional Ugandan style!
Shanti welcomes a new Project Coordinator in Uganda! Isabel Bacalao will work side-by-side with our Ugandan staff to provide leadership and guidance as we enter 2014!