Shanti Uganda is a birth house in rural Uganda that offers annual Birth and Postpartum Doula Trainings as well as a Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training. These retreats offer a rare opportunity to combine a calling to care for women and mothers with travel to East Africa. Several unique experiences are a part of each session, drawing together participants from all over the world and bonding them in the pursuit of maternal health education on a global scale.
Reasons to complete doula or prenatal yoga training in Uganda:
After several days learning best practices within the realms of doula work or prenatal yoga, each retreat ends with a visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the only home to wild rhinos as part of a special reintroduction program in Uganda. Retreatants also spend an overnight at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center that is home to populations of chimpanzees and a myriad of other species that have been rescued and rehabilitated. Entrance fees are included with the trainings and are a spectacular ending to the trip. A tip for additional East African travel post-retreat: When purchasing your visa for Uganda, you also have the option to buy (with discount) a three-country visa that covers Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda, so at the end of your retreat, it’s also easy to visit neighboring nations.
Travel with Purpose
You have the opportunity to travel with purpose. Uganda is a vibrant, lush country full of friendly people and rich biodiversity. By supporting a local NGO, your travel dollars make a significant impact on the Ugandan people and their future. The birth house provides safe births to women, as well as support to their families. Being part of that chain of support is so much more gratifying than simply being a tourist. Since 100% of the proceeds from all trainings support Shanti Uganda’s mission to improve infant and maternal health, your program fees are directly impacting women and babies in rural Uganda, generating greater access to safe care for all Ugandans.
Learn From Experts
You’re completing doula or prenatal training among birthing women and midwives. The fact that all trainings are on-site at Shanti Uganda’s Birth House means access to midwives with long careers working with pregnant and postpartum moms and their babies, as well as clients in various stages of the birthing process. Those who participate in the Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training even have the opportunity to teach pregnant mothers who come to Shanti for yoga classes! Yoga teacher, Bobby Bessey, shares, “From a training perspective, nothing beats having the participants see women labouring on the grounds around us as we talk about preparing prenatal mommas for birth. The natural and normal process of birth is ever present as we study. This is truly a magical experience and I don’t think it could be replicated in any other setting.”
All retreats offer certifications that are respected all over the world. No matter where you call home, you will leave Uganda with certified doula training from DONA International or Continuing Education Credits applicable to Yoga Alliance for Yoga Instructors or to DONA for birth workers. And the teachers of both trainings have decades of expertise, too. A recent graduate of the prenatal yoga training says of trainer Bobby Bessey, “Bobby is a master instructor with years of extensive knowledge to pass on; she shares and leads with grace and dignity. Bobby and the other trainees from all over the world made the training so memorable.”
Get Off the Beaten Path
You’ll be learning in an area of rural Uganda that’s rarely visited by tourists. Throughout the retreats, participants are immersed in the life of a rural village – its food, its gardens, traditional drumming and dance. At the Birth House, you’ll learn about the medicinal plants that grow on-site, as well as a vast array of food in gardens where hands-on workshops take place to educate new and expecting moms about nutrition. This is rare glimpse into life in a small part of the country, a time to discover what grows here, what traditions unite people, and what it feels like to learn outside the typical tourist routes and expectations.
Tracy is a mother, teacher and writer living on Vashon Island, WA. Her experience teaching creative writing to pregnant and parenting teens in Los Angeles, CA, led her to advocate for safe birth for women everywhere. She recently traveled to Shanti Uganda’s birth house in the Luwero District of Uganda to volunteer.