A Home Beyond Birth: Estar’s Story


Read Estar’s Shanti Journey as told by our Communications Intern in Uganda.

There is no better time to visit Shanti than on a busy Thursday morning. As I made my way down the Birth House’s path, I was greeted by the warm smiles of Shanti’s midwives. The day was early, but there were already dozens of women participating in a family planning and postnatal nutrition workshop. With growing baby bellies, and young babies on their laps, the women watched our Traditional Birth Attendant, Flora, eager to learn. As I scanned the crowd, one woman and her young boy smiled brightly.

After having a discussion with her, I learned that her name is Estar. Estar, 27, proudly shared stories of her two children, Simon Peter, 2, and Donnatus, 9 months old. Having both been born at Shanti, her sons have become familiar with Shanti’s positive environment. Today, Donnatus and his mother walked one mile from home to receive his vaccination.

Living not far from Shanti, Estar reminisced of when she first learned about the Birth House. She recalled seeing it being built when walking down the road in 2009. Since first seeing Shanti, Estar has been visiting as a client for many years. With a beaming smile, she told me how caring Shanti’s midwives are. Having seen many other facilities throughout her life, she constantly recommends the Birth House to her family and friends as she recognizes Shanti’s staff, clean and friendly environment, and variety of services.

As her youngest, Donnatus, sat happily eating a cookie, she shared a memory of her first birth at Shanti. She remembered the loving care that she received from her midwife Ssanyu, Shanti’s supportive Head Midwife. Two years later, Estar continues to be grateful for not only the health care provided to her, but for the two clothing ensembles given to her son, Simon Peter, at his time of birth.

It is conversations like this with clients that confirm my love for The Shanti Uganda Society. Each woman sitting around the facility, learning from Flora, has a similar and bright story and I look forward to future stories shared by both Shanti’s staff and clients.

Read more about our Maternal Health Program.

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