The Fistula Foundation

Rating: 4.95 stars   288 reviews

Issues: Health, International

Location: 1922 The Alameda Suite 302 San Jose CA 95126 USA

Mission: Fistula Foundation works to heal women suffering from obstetric fistula by funding treatment, surgeon training, and medical equipment. To date, we have funded fistula treatment in 28 countries.
Results: Fistula Foundation is the largest private charitable foundation not accepting government funding supporting fistula treatment globally. Wherever possible, we work to empower dedicated local doctors in developing countries. We fund fistula surgery, surgeon training, the building of hospitals and operating rooms that are dedicated to fistula surgery, as well as “mobile” care clinics in rural regions of the world where no hospitals exist. Would you like to know more? The real heroes are the partner organizations, the surgeons and the patients. All around the world, miracles are happening for young women living places like Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. We invite you to take a moment now to visit our website and to learn how our donors' dollars are being put to work. Learn about the challenges of healing women in war zones and meet dedicated local surgeons who work every day to treat women who are suffering. Why wait? Take the journey with us right now. Let it inform you, and perhaps deepen your own life and perspective.
Target demographics: the one million women worldwide who currently suffer from the childbirth injury obstetric fistula, which renders a woman incontinent until she can receive a reparative surgery, like those our donors help us fund.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 4,511 women receive free, safe fistula repair surgeries. We also helped our partners throughout Africa and Asia by funding medical equipment and supplies, by funding surgeon training to expand the pool of surgeons who are able to perform more complex repairs, and by working with our partners to increase patient access to care.
Geographic areas served: countries throughout Africa and Asia, having funded fistula treatment in 30 countries since adopting a global mission in 2009.
Programs: obstetric fistula repair surgeries, patient identification, education and transportation, the training of obstetric fistula surgeons, and providing supplies and equipment to partners when needed to ensure that surgeries are conducted in as safe an environment as possible.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I learned about the Fistula Foundation after I had a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy. Due to a surgicail error, I developed a vesicovaginal fistula. I was blessed to have an extremely supportive spouse/family and friends and a skillful doctor who reparied the fistula. It was during my ordeal that I about the difficulties and treatment endured by women, outside of the United States, who suffer from fistulas. I read about the Fistula Foundation and knew that it was important to support its extremely worthwhile endeavor.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I first learned about Fistula Foundation through a documentary and was very moved by it . It had a big impact on me both as a mother who had two safe birth experiences and as a nurse . I have been fortunate enough for the past 5 years to gift one surgery yearly for a woman who suffers from this complication . Hopefully in the future I will be able to increase this to two surgeries per year. But, regardless of one's income and ability to give, Even $10 would be a show of support and appreciated !! This is a great organization working with a population that is so disenfranchised by their own societies and families. Fistula Foundation gives them the freedom to live their lives again and even more importantly provide training so maybe the need for surgeries will decrease in the future. I hope that in the future that I might be able to support Fistula Foundation as a volunteer too in some capacity ! Louis C.K. is right on when he endorsed them !!!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I also learned about The Fistula Foundation from Nicholas Kristof and have been very pleased with the important work that the program is doing for at-risk women. Not only is the Foundation effective, but it is a very efficient organization with tight financial controls. We have given contributions to the Foundation as holiday gifts to our children, in addition to contributing on a regular basis.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I learned about this organization from information I received in the mail as well as from a piece by Nicholas Kristof. I was stunned about how devastating this condition is at many level for women in impoverished and uneducated areas. I was impressed by the dedication of the doctors who repair the fistula and their assistants, For such a small sum of money a woman's life is turned around to a degree that is immeasurable. I have been happy to donate to this great organization for many years and plan to continue.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been supporting the Fistula Foundation almost from its inception. I am overjoyed watching the program grow from helping a few, to helping so many. The foundation isn't just applying bandaids, it is totally transforming individual lives. What could be better?

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been donating to the Love a Sister program ever since reading the Nicholas Kristof column about the Fistula Foundation in the NY Times several years ago. I still tear up every time i receive a certificate telling me I have completed my donation and changed a woman's life. To think I can make such a difference for one person and the Fistula Foundation makes it possible. I started giving in honor of my mother, who modeled a powerful belief in human dignity, and since her passing, give in her memory each year. FF is clearly diligent with my money -- the level of contact with me as a donor is typically more about sharing important news, which only makes me want to give all the more. Bravo to an exceptional organization doing extraordinary work in the world!

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I first learned about the Fistula Foundation from a Nicholas Kristof column in the New York Times. I was moved by the opportunity to help other women in such a profound way and signed up to give monthly through the Love-a-Sister program to fund one woman's fistula repair. I am now completing my fourth Love-a-Sister donation and plan to continue with a fifth. I appreciate that the foundation does not send unnecessary and costly printed appeals and stays in touch on its work through occasional emails. And I am always moved to tears when I receive confirmation that I have supported one woman's life-changing operation. As a way to make a difference in the world, I highly recommend giving to the Fistula Foundation.

Was your donation impactful?

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Learned about this great organization through Oprah and I was horrified at what this condition does to a woman, ostracizing her from her community and forcing her to live alone for all her days. This organization LITERALLY gives women their lives back with a relatively simple inexpensive operation. In the developed world we can avoid obstetric fistula with a C-section. These women do not have such choices. Great organization doing a world of good.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

NONE

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I never knew about fistula issues and how devastating it can be for a new mother until I stumbled upon this extremely well run organization. A mom is literally ostracized and sent to live a lonely life away from her family and village simply because of a completely treatable and reversible "side effect" to giving birth. By enabling these mothers to have these surgeries we are literally giving them their life back. It's so simple and so gratifying to know that I have helped another woman in this way.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

NONE!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I learned about the Fistula Foundation on Oprah which is odd because I hardly ever watch that show. I must've been home sick that day. I had never heard of obstetric fistula and was horrified not only by the physical aspect of it, but by the treatment of women suffering from it.

The beauty of this foundation is you know exactly how many women your donation is helping. I've been sending checks for about five years and am so pleased to see how the foundation has grown. There isn't any reason all women suffering from fistula cannot be helped. It's just a matter of money and time.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Learned about the organization via Nick Kristoff and I have been contributing regularly ever since.

I've been doing a birthday fundraiser on my birthday every year. I ask people to contribute and I match their contributions.

What I say to people is this: your contribution, no matter how small, makes a REAL DIFFERENCE here. A $5 donation measures on the scale in the effort to totally change a woman's life. The organization is extremely efficient -- the money goes to service -- not overhead. The Foundation isn't bankrolled by any of the huge foundations like Ford or Gates -- so what we do really matters. Go ahead, start small. Keep in touch and keep supporting their good work.

Ridge (in New Joisey)

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