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  

After reading "The Hospital by the River" by Dr. Catherine Hamlin in 2004 I have been a donor and supporter of the Fistula Foundation. I share with other women the plight of these young girls forced into marriage at too young an age or end up pregnant due to a rape. Sharing with others what happens when they can not deliver their baby has appalled and shocked most everyone that I have told. We don't hear about fistula's here in the USA and it is not in the news. It continues to happen to too many girls and education is the only way to help bring this around to the public and the media. The Fistula Foundation is doing an excellent job is getting this horrible tragedy out to the public and helping change the lives of thousands of girls through surgery. If you have not read Dr. Hamlin's book...READ IT!!! You can not remain silent after that!

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Fistula Foundation funds reconstructive surgery for some of the most down-trodden women in the world. Often excluded from their homes, families and villages because they were raped or forced into early marriages, bearing children when their bodies are not ready for this, their birth canals are ripped apart when the rape occurs or the child is born and they become incontinent and worse. They are in pain, face ostracism, etc.

Doctors and other medical workers are trained by the Fistula Foundation to do surgery which has been needed in the USA since the Spanish Civil War. TFF has now set up in countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda, Afghanistan ... places where abject poverty and lack of education affect women disproportionately.

The clinics that have been set up become centers for education and retraining for the women and their children who stay and heal, learn and thrive, become trained and become active members of society instead of rejected miserable people who die from starvation or worse.

I understand that for $450 you can not only save the life of a woman but put her back on her feet with dignity and success. Seems a small price to pay.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I am a donor to the Fistula Foundation because its mission is to help women who have been ravaged by rape, forced marriages or preteen marriages which result in outrage to their bodies by men who don't care. Women are chattel and Fistula Foundation returns these seriously injured women to sustainable, valuable and valued positions in a society which had shunned them or killed them.

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2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Fistula Foundation is one of those rare charities that funnels virtually every penny donated toward the goal of the charity. Almost nothing goes toward the "administrative" expenses that can so often suck the efficiency of a charity. This little charity has managed to become a behemoth in its niche. They offer hope to the women of developing countries who suffer the stigma of obstetric fistula and are ostracized by their community to the point that they must live alone with their misery. A mere $450 can change the life of a woman who has been consigned to this life long sentence. The Fistula Foundation not only performs the surgeries but also teaches the area physicians the technique so that when they must leave they have left in place persons who can carry on the needed aid. When I donate money it gives me great satisfaction to know that it works so efficiently and that it gives a woman somewhere back her dignity. What greater gift can there be sister-to-sister?

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter has her Master Degree in Human Rights. Last year she decided to create a website centered around Mother's Day. Her premise was the enormous amount of money that Americans spent on flowers and candy on this one day when if we could focus that effort on Mothers who need our help we could truly make an enormous difference. She chose five lower profile charities that she knew were renowned for their transparency in administration costs and their effectiveness in the field. The Fistula Foundation was one of her top choices for the amazing job they do in changing lives for very little money. I was overwhelmed by the outstanding job they have managed to do while keeping administrative costs to a bare minimum. This is the hallmark of what all good charities should be. All funds given should hopefully go toward the stated good and not to the day to day. The Fistula Foundation is a shining star of efficiency and good work.

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

I can't imagine what needs to change. That is exactly why The Fistula Foundation is such a miracle.

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2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Giving a fellow human being back their dignity and life! What better use is there for one's resources?
Please give what you can afford. Such critically important work.

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Rating: 5 stars  

We are focused on understanding and helping in some way to improve the tragic lives women in developing countries face day to day. The Fistula Foundation is our favorite non-profit within this venue as they not only help support other non-profits doing similar work, but keep their overhead, as a percentage of total contributions, amazingly small.

We truly feel that this is one organization that can take a dollar and use it to it's fullest potential. We highly recommend that anyone with a desire to help other people consider donating to this group.

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2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Hi

I decided to use running a half marathon as a means of raising money for the Foundation after I heard about the dire situations women can find themselves in - due to something that can so easily be fixed. I was really pleased at the response I got from friends and colleagues. It made it all the more rewarding for me, as it meant we were able to help a few more women, spread the word a bit further about the issue and what the Foundation is doing to help. Ann

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

No suggestions - the staff were helpful and friendly.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I first learned about The Fistula Foundation when I read Half the Sky several years ago. I was reminded of it again in a column by Nicholas Kristof early this year and for Mother's Day I made a donation in honour of several special mothers in my life.

Recently I added a benefit concert in Geneva and heard Dr. Hamlin speak. It was a very special evening.

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2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was a delivery room nurse for many years and was blessed to see miracle of many healthy, happy births. I am also blessed to be a mother to 3 healthy now adult children. After watching the Oprah show many years ago that featured the amazing Dr. Hamlin, I became aware of the the Fistula Foundation. After watching the show and then reading Dr Hamlin's book The Hospital by the River. I knew I wanted to help these women who suffer the tragedy of their lost babies and then are devastated by fistulas. Since I could not physically help, I knew somehow I needed to do something , so monthly donations to the Fistula Foundation have become part of my life. I love what the foundation does for Women!! Restoring and Prevention!! Giving women their DIGNITY back!
I love the fact that through my monthly donations I can help a woman get her life and dignity back!!!

Thank you to the Doctors, Nurses and the rest of the very skilled teams that help restore these women. Thank you to the wonderful people that coordinate the foundation, Kate and the rest of her staff. You are the best!!!! Thank you to Dr. Hamlin and her late husband who had a vision. I am proud to have a tiny part in this great organization. The FISTULA FOUNDATION!!

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2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I watched the documentary A Walk to Beautiful quite a while ago. I felt that it does not help just to sit infront of the screen and cry for these women. So I I logged on to the website to donate.
These women and often still girls!! need our help and this organization is excellent! They save so many lives and most important they give the women back a meaning with there lives.
I am thankful to all the people working for and with The Fistula Foundation.

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

none.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I appreciate the wonderful work of the Fistula Foundation. I have been a donor since seeing Dr. Catherine Hamlin on Oprah years ago. The Foundation keeps donors up to date through their newsletter and by email. I was touched to receive a phone call from the Foundation checking to make sure that the information on a memorial gift that I made was correct.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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