By Jamilah Orom- Shanti Uganda cook and friend
Shanti Uganda has helped many Ugandans, from all walks of life – especially women. Many women in Uganda have gained a lot from Shanti, especially those who are pregnant and also the Women’s Income Generating Group members.
Shanti is a very nice health centre with good midwives and staff, and cares well for their patients. I would really like to have any future babies at Shanti; it is very different from any hospitals in Luwero, or even Uganda, and very different from where I gave birth. The way the midwives handle the pregnant women is very special, because they care and support women, and are not rude. This makes Shanti Uganda a great health centre for women.
First of all, I would like to talk about how Shanti has helped me. Through Shanti I have met many volunteers who I could never have met otherwise. All the volunteers have been so nice to me – so caring and loving, and made my life very happy. My family also has appreciated the volunteers. Through Shanti I have been employed to cook for the volunteers, which I have done for three years. This has enabled me to learn many cooking skills, because many volunteers have helped me to learn different types of food – not only Ugandan food.
I would like to thank the first Project Coordinator, Kristen Porter, because she first taught me some new skills that I hadn’t previously known. Also thanks to Sadie for being so kind and nice to me, and for encouraging me to attend school. Salam, who is the current Project Coordinator, thank you for your good work and being kind to my family, I will really miss her when she leaves. Thanks to Natalie, the founder of Shanti, and her husband Nicholas – for what they have created and their continued support to Shanti.
I thank all the volunteers and doulas who have ever been around (too many to mention), who have always been kind and loving, and all have been very supportive, and don’t mind when I come late to work from school.
I thank the volunteers who have supported me. With my salary I have been able to attend tailoring school and send my daughter, Anita, to school – without the volunteers I could not have attended school, may God reward them, and Shanti as well.
Thanks to the Shanti staff for supporting me and my daughter Anita and my family as well. Anita, who is four, now has many inspiring women in Shanti Uganda who she can aspire towards. My family and I are proud of Shanti, and all the international staff and volunteers we’ve ever met. I wish to meet them all, once again. They always remain in my heart, until we can again meet.
I would like to visit the Shanti office in Canada one day, because I really admire Shanti. Now I am one month away from graduating – at last I have been able to take my exams and I am soon finishing. I am studying Tailoring and Garment Design at Luwero Vocational Institute. I am very interested in my course, and my future plan and goals are to become a dressmaker and fashion designer, if I can get the opportunities.
I would like to welcome any new volunteers and visitors to Shanti Uganda – they are most welcome. I am looking forward to meeting anyone who comes to visit!