In April, The Shanti Uganda Society had our first AGM. In looking back over the year there is one thing that is very clear – we value participation. From projects on the ground in Uganda, to our very active board members and volunteers in BC, community participation is without a doubt how we accomplish change.
Many people ask how we structure our programs in Uganda and how we decide where the money goes. From community meetings with hundreds to small brainstorming sessions with our project leaders, each and every one of those decisions happen on the ground, in Uganda – exactly where decisions should be made by every non-profit doing international work. Each project is initiated by the local community and then a project leader is elected. That elected leader[s] works closely with our project coordinator on the ground to create, cultivate, monitor and assess projects.
All 25 of the existing women in our women’s income generating group elected their own leader – Ivon is now the women’s group coordinator, plays a leadership role with Shanti Uganda and acts as a representative for the interests, wellbeing and voice of her sisters.
(the women meeting to discuss the formation of their income generating group)
There are also elected leaders in the community where we are building our birth house and women who have been selected to represent the traditional birth attendants and their needs as we collectively ‘build’ a birth house that will serve their community.
The beauty of service is that it leaves a trail of change with every step it takes. At our latest board orientation meeting in BC, one of our existing board members shared with some of our new members just how much serving on the board has changed her life, impacted her own community and even created an opportunity for her children to get involved and learn the value of service and community.
We are truly a global family and as we establish relationships, create unity and facilitate participation in Uganda, we also do the very same thing here at home with our many volunteers, fundraising events and networks.
Below are some of the photos from recent fundraising events that nourish and support both local and global community and long lasting change.
(Dexter & Sophie Weymann running their own fundraising table at a local fundraiser held by volunteer Sue Kapty)
(Wendy Weymann, Shanti Uganda Board of Directors, introduces the 3hr Shanti Uganda Yogathon at Unison Yoga)
(Yogathon teachers and organizers gather after the event)