By Kate Hyde, Operations Director
We hosted our first Doula Training in September of 2012 and since then have welcomed 10 inspiring training groups to Uganda. We believe deeply that a cross-cultural exchange of knowledge is life-changing for everyone involved. Our training retreats are also one of Shanti’s most sustainable sources of funding – raising over $84,000 to provide life saving care to women and their families.
Our founder, Natalie was a doula and since the beginning we’ve been inspired by the power of doulas to create positive birth experiences for moms. Doulas have been our most consistent and engaged supporters throughout our #10YearsofImpact and we are humbled by all of the amazing support.
This year we are so proud to partner with Blooma on this year’s Doula Training in October 2018. We welcome our co-teachers Emily Shier and Sarah Longacre on our 7 day DONA International certified training retreat. Blooma is a prenatal and postnatal yoga and wellness studio in Minneapolis/St. Paul that serves as a gathering and learning place for moms. Blooma nurtures the mind, body and spirit of moms-to-be, new mamas and their families through yoga, massage, childbirth education and a community of support. Blooma and Shanti Uganda share so many of the same values – we both care for women passionately and honor their birthing experience. We both strive to create open-hearted communities of support and recognize the need for women to be supported and empowered during pregnancy, birth and beyond.
We are so excited to welcome Sarah back to Uganda. In 2009, Sarah was part of an amazing group of women with Off the Mat Into the World who raised $150,000 for the construction of our Birth House. Sarah then came to visit the site and even helped in construction! The Birth House was completed in the spring of 2010 and since then we have supported over 1300 births and impacted 46,000 lives.
Sarah’s Inspiring Message about returning:
“When I left Shanti Uganda over 8 years ago, the buildings were only a foot high and the doors, walls, and the roof were all just visions in our mind. But, beyond these unfinished structures, I could see the future – the mamas and the amazing Shanti staff that would fill this sacred space. There was so much potential for beautiful, empowering, and healthy birth to happen. In those 8 years since, Shanti is doing exactly what they set out to do. I couldn’t be more excited to go back 8 years later to this space that gave me so much hope for the children and mothers of Uganda.
Through “Off the Mat and Into the World” I raised over $30,000 to help build the Birth House. After visiting Uganda for the first time, I never thought I would have the chance to go back and give others the opportunity to learn, play, do yoga, and be a part of this special place. Not only am I returning to a beautiful and inspiring Shanti Uganda, but I am bringing my best friend Emily Shier, who’s doula training is unique and powerful. She is clear, passionate and 100% dedicated to improving birth and inspiring great future doulas!
Join us for this amazing experience. We guarantee that this trip will change your life forever.”
Read more about Emily and Sarah below:
Sarah Longacre: (E-RYT200 / RYT500 / RPYT) is the a mother and owner/founder of Blooma, a prenatal & postnatal yoga and wellness studio in the Twin Cities. She is a RPYT certified yoga teacher and a birth doula who has nurtured, comforted, inspired, and educated thousands of women on their pregnancy and mothering journeys. For 17 years, Sarah has worked with pregnant women at yoga studios, hospitals, and in their homes. A native Minnesotan, Sarah completed her doula training in Portland, Oregon in 2001. In 2004, she journeyed to Santa Cruz, California. to train with Robin Sale, the founder of Whole Birth Yoga. Other influences in Sarah’s approach to prenatal yoga and pregnancy include yogini Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, birth educator Pam England, and the many mamas who have welcomed Sarah to be a part of their birth journeys.
Emily Shier is an active birth doula and mentor with a thriving business and an endless love for blooming families. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Education and has been working professionally with adult learners for over 20 years. She has worked in higher education at 3 colleges, as a licensed public schoolteacher, and as a health educator for pregnant women and new mothers. She has been published in the WI Medical Journal advocating for increased access for doula services. She has taught workshops throughout the US and trained as a Birth Doula & Birth Doula Trainer under Penny Simkin.
Want to learn more about the training? Visit our Training Page or email firstname.lastname@example.org