Mullin had volunteered with Shanti Uganda for three years before becoming a board member and relishes her continued involvement. She highlights the distinct nature of Shanti Uganda as “our projects are centered around the communities and women we are in service to. We give them the tools they need so that they can find their own way back to a thriving life rather than staying dependent on us.” In this respect, Shanti Uganda prides itself on healing from within, as the organization teaches “holistic yoga principles to people and children impacted by HIV within a fierce civil war and extreme poverty.” Simply put, they are creating solace out of mayhem.
Their most recent project is The Shanti Uganda Community Birth and Learning Centre. Pride and admiration ooze through Mullin’s words as she enthusiastically describes a place where “women who would not otherwise have access to a healthy, safe and clean environment to give birth or have pre- and post-natal care can come to feel supported.” With this project, Shanti Uganda’s goal is to decrease rates of infant mortality and at-birth HIV transmission.
Moreover, the Learning Centre is a place where “women in our sustainable income generating group can come to work, and where yoga and English classes are regularly held.” Shanti Uganda seeks to create healthy, happy lives for these women and families as they expect for “this centre to become a hub of education for other midwives in surrounding communities.” When creating this center, they also honoured Uganda’s traditional wisdom and knowledge, as Shanti Uganda cherishes relationships that are based on unity.
Mullin’s eyes light up as I ask her how we can all do a little more good with Shanti Uganda. How can we get involved? She answers, “in Vancouver, you can help us out at various festivals and markets we attend, or if you have a special skill from marketing to grant writing, we would love to have you!” She continues; “in Uganda we always welcome people willing to teach anything from yoga, to English, to crafts.” She even proposes “if you have a special skill you feel would be valuable, it is possible to create your own program so long as it would benefit the women we work with.”
How can we do a little more good from the safety of our own home as we sit at our computers right now? Mullin answers; “You can buy a piece of jewelry to support our sustainable income generating group and if you really love it, host your own jewelry party with your friends at home.” It is just that simple.
Check out http://www.shantiuganda.org/ to learn more about this organization and to get involved.