Friday, October 31, 2008

A Conscious Christmas

Many people have asked us where they can buy some of the beautiful jewellery made by our women's group! Below is just one event we'll be at in November. If you are interested in organizing your own event, send us an email

A Conscious Christmas at Heart Centre Yoga

A socially conscious craft fair with local products, natural gifts and jewellery from around the world! We currently have vendors selling herbal teas, essential oils, yoga-inspired bracelets and candles, paper jewellery made by women in Uganda and handmade cards.

Saturday Nov 22 2008
3978b Hastings St.
Burnaby BC

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Goddess Yoga and Healing Circle Fundraiser!


A friend of ours is hosting a fabulous workshop throughout November with donations going to The Shanti Uganda Society! We'd love for you to come!

be well,



Goddess Yoga and Healing Circle
Noon Saturdays Nov 1 - November 29 (doors open at 11:30am)
"Chai Gallery" 3243 W. Broadway, Kitsilano - Vancouver
Drop- In, Free or by Donation - all donations go to

For girls, teens, women of all ages, pregnant & postnatal mothers

Yoga, dance, energy healing, breath work, deep relaxation, meditation, toning and affirmations. Open your body through practicing this series of rhythmic yoga stretches and experience the joy of movement, flexibility, and dance.

Our focus areas are the hips (womb) and the chest (heart). The exercises stimulate detoxification, rejuvenation, emotional healing, self esteem, strength and flexibility of the muscles, nerves, organs & glands of the pelvis, abdomen, back, chest, neck and length of the spine. This practice releases stress, tensions, toxins and deepens relaxation.

These movements are similar to the sacred dance of the goddess, the divine feminine, womanhood, moon-cycle, fertility, conception, motherhood & birth: blossom your hips, belly and heart. After the yoga, dance, deep relaxation, meditation/toning, we complete our class with affirmations and a talking circle, taking a moment to listen to and reflect on the stories of our community sisters, their challenges and successes.

Please send this email to all your lady (maids and crones) friends whom you think will be interested in experiencing this circle and learning more about the other classes by donation at Chai Gallery. All donations are given to charities.

With love,
Roxxanne Faye
"I choose love, I choose peace, I choose joy."
778. 846. 2229(BABY)
604. 879. 7891

Monday, September 15, 2008

Global Mala Event



Join us for 108 Rounds of the Maha Mrityanjaya Mantra – a sanskrit prayer for personal and global healing. In honour of World Peace Day, yoga studios around the world will form a ‘global mala’ and collectively focus on bringing peace to the world. All are welcome!

Saturday Sept 20th 2008
7:30pm (doors open at 7pm)
$10 donation to The Shanti Uganda Society

Heart Centre Yoga
3978b Hastings St. Burnaby BC

for more information contact natalie

Monday, September 8, 2008

Supporting the birth process...

Two new beautiful, calm eyes appeared from under the blanket in the nursing ward. Mama held her first born baby boy tight to her chest, glowing with love and a sense of triumph! He was born the night before after hours of walking, drinking, physical support and most of all strength! What made this birth special was that this one baby made his way into the world just as he was meant to. There was no cesarean section, he wasn’t taken out with metal forceps, the mother didn’t wear a sense of defeat after being told that her body was not capable of birthing her own child. Although just one birth, experiences like these confirm how important our work is and how many women and children can benefit from a renewed sense of power.

After hearing the long list of reasons to justify a cesarean birth the day before, I realised that it wouldn’t take much for this birth to be taken from its natural course. There were multiple women in active labour who took turns climbing onto the labour table (complete with garbage bag cover), a line out the door of pregnant women waiting for a check up and one very dedicated head-midwife who was holding the entire process together. At the other end of the courtyard, there were tears, moans and a family in mourning over the loss of their mother – her body was wheeled out on a metal cart. Most of the women in the birth ward held anything they were experiencing so far within that it was often difficult to tell from just walking by who was actually in labour or not! We were able to bring this one woman outside to help her face some of what she was experiencing! We pressed on her hips, got her on her hands and knees, danced at the wall, and spent as much time outside as possible. The midwives even got involved and soon began to use some of the simple suggestions we offered to support the birth process. She birthed her baby boy at 9pm with a deep sense of accomplishment and pride!

The maternal mortality rate in Uganda is horrific. Each year more than half a million women around the world die during pregnancy and birth and reducing child and maternal mortality are now two of the official Millennium Development Goals. This time around we were able to talk to midwives who told us stories of women with complications being transferred from their small community birth centres to the local hospital on a 45min bumpy scooter ride, we learned about traditional herbs and ceremonies performed at a birth such as ‘Etwatwa’ where the baby is bathed in the tea leaves from a beautiful purple flower for wisdom and good luck and we were introduced to harmful misconceptions involving using cow dung on new babies to avoid HIV.

We are honoured to work with the midwives in Luweero! Sister Ernestine runs a very special clinic and has spent her life dedicated to her community and place of service. The head midwife Sister Teddy, is looking forward to our return and was so appreciative to receive the textbooks, pamphlets, baby products and birth education supplies we brought to the clinic this year.

In addition to our existing work with birthing women, midwives and traditional birth attendants in Uganda, we have recently started a new project to bring birth kits to the women birthing in Luweero. The kits cost $15 Canadian and include everything a woman needs for birth including a reusable pad and liner for after she has given birth. They are available at

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Updates From Uganda

The previous photos were recently sent from Julius, our Project Coordinator in Uganda. One is the finished sign hanging at New Hope School, the second is a photo of the chicken house in progress. Our building plan includes 300 chickens which will provide eggs for the children each day.

Menstrual Pads For The Girls

Before leaving for Uganda this summer, I sent an email out to Lunapads and Goods 4 Girls asking for their support in donating a few pads for the girls we work with in Uganda. My request for a few pads was more than responded to as both Lunapads AND Goods 4 Girls sent us over with hundreds of pads for the girls we support! We were thrilled to be able to bring such a large supply to Uganda!

So many girls in Uganda face challenges every month due to a lack of supplies, sanitation facilities and money. All of the girls we support are orphans and have experienced such a great deal of poverty and loss already in life. Many of them miss classes and end up feeling disconnected from their bodies. The girls use old rags which can not be attached properly – this means that they avoid any movement which might cause the rag to fall out of their skirts. They can not be washed properly and easily soak through into the clothing they are wearing. These pads were life changing for them! There were tears, questions, clapping, singing and dancing – but most of all, the girls were happy to have a ‘girls only’ meeting. For the first time ever, the younger girls actually wanted their period to come so that they could receive a kit as well. We made sure to give the matrons (the women who take on the role of mother for all of the girls and sleep with them at night) at both schools a kit as well – they were also in tears after experiencing a lifetime of difficulty surrounding their period!

The kits were taken to two very different schools. It was beautiful to watch the various responses the girls had to the pads. We took the pads from Lunapads to the girls at one of the local highschools in Luweero. It is a catholic school and we came during a rain storm. We gathered all of the girls we could find (most of them leave with the rain) and brought them into a dry room. They were shy and reserved while talking about the pads (something that is not often discussed at their school), but their eyes began to twinkle when they came to understand that they could keep these pads forever! They voted one girl to take the extra pads for the girls who were not present that day and show them what they had learned about washing and drying them. It was such a wonderful experience to watch these girls slowly unfold, become comfortable talking about their own bodies and finally hold a gift in their hands that was brand new and their own .

We brought over 50 kits (with 5 pads in each kit) to the primary school we support in Entebbe. It took a while to gather all of the girls and the matron into one room -the boys tried to get in, but the girls let them know that it was ‘girls only’. They were quick to offer up the multiple reasons why they ‘didn’t like having their period’. So different from the first school, there was a short silence as the girls tried to process exactly what ‘reusable’ meant, but as soon as it was understood, they were yelling and singing and clapping. The matron began a speech, but ended up in tears as she tried to explain what a difference these pads would make. Later, I stumbled into the girls room to find them practising attaching the pads to their underwear and coming up with a washing and drying plan that wouldn’t let the boys run off with their new gifts!

Yoga Wear

In order to completely participate in the yoga classes, the girls need clothing to wear instead of the restrictive skirts that are worn to school. While this seems relatively small compared to the many problems they face in life, their ability to participate in the classes enables them to relax, breathe and build self-esteem!

Our problem was solved this time around – we were given a large donation of yoga clothing from Breathe Yoga Wear! The girls were all thrilled to receive a beautiful new outfit that wasn’t falling apart! Not only did this allow them to make their way into downward dog and other partner poses with ease, it also gave them the opportunity to dive, jump and lose all inhibition while playing soccer! By the end of our yoga classes this time around, the girls were creating their own poses, feeling empowered and most importantly taking time to breathe!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Some exciting updates...

The last few months have been ones of incredible growth and inspiration!

We have recently released a fabulous new Shanti Uganda shirt which was designed by Kim and made by Me to We Style. Made from 100% organic cotton, all proceeds go to Shanti Uganda. To purchase the shirt online visit:

We are also pleased to announce the release of The Light Within – A guided meditation CD for the beginner and beyond! $2 from every CD sold is donated to Shanti Uganda. To listen to sound clips and purchase the CD visit:

It is a great honour to introduce two new members to our Board of Directors: Nikiah Seeds and Bryan Gooden.

Nikiah has spent the last 10 years of her life dedicated to working with birthing families. She is also the owner of Mama Goddess Birth Shop and will be organising an online option to purchase birth kits which will be donated to the birthing women we support!

Bryan is an experienced counsellor and works to support children, their wellbeing and ability to heal. His passions in counselling are attachment, anxiety and trauma, which he will be integrating into our programs this summer while he spends time in Uganda!

In July, we will be hiring our first paid staff in Uganda! Julius Lubwama will act as our project coordinator in Uganda. He will monitor all Shanti Uganda projects, coordinate the work of the income generating initiatives and support volunteers.

In addition, we are pleased to continue working with Tamara White, our US Coordinator. Our paths crossed paths with Tamara during our first year in Uganda! Tamara is a motivating Social Studies teacher who inspires youth to raise global awareness and has established partnership projects between students in North America and Uganda.