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Seva - Selfless Service

Last week Nic and I went into Kampala to pick up two day volunteers from Canada, brought them back to Kasana and spent the day introducing them to the work we are doing here in Uganda. Charlene, a yoga teacher from Ontario and her husband Ron, an architect, did a tour of our building site, went on a village walk with Sam and learned all about the local building styles over the years and how the war has impacted the way homes have been built in the region. Nic, Charlene, Ron and I ate lunch at Yvonne’s house, the leader of our income generating group and everyone got a chance to taste matoke, ground nuts and other Ugandan dishes. After lunch we went down to the women’s group and met up with Marva, who is a midwife volunteering with us from Israel.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in song and dance with the women and then all of our volunteers learned how to roll paper beads. I always enjoy the look of determination on the faces of those who attempt to roll their first bead and the awe they have for our women who manage to turn paper into beautiful jewellery!

The day ended with Charlene doing a yoga class with our women’s group. They had a fabulous time and really enjoyed moving about and stretching and laughing together in circle.

Its been a few weeks now since Marva and Nic arrived to work on the birth house protocol and solar/water system and I am amazed at how much they have brought to the project in such a short period of time!

Each volunteer that comes to Shanti, whether in Vancouver or here in Uganda brings a gift that collectively changes lives, enables smiles and builds community.


(Charlene, a day volunteer on a tour of the local village)


(Ron, a day volunteer with Adam, founder of the Earth Rising Foundation standing on top of our pit latrine, discuss our building design)


(Members of the Shanti Uganda Income Generating Group welcome Charlene, Ron, Nic and Marva)


(Charlene learns to roll her first paper bead)


(Yvonne, leader of our beading group, helps Nic roll his first paper bead)


(Marva gets a bit of help from Jesca)


(Ending a long day with yoga – The women loved Charlene’s yoga class!)


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