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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Fistula Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, International, International Development, Specifically Named Diseases

Mission: Fistula Foundation is committed to ending the suffering caused by the childbirth injury obstetric fistula, because we believe no woman should endure a life of misery and isolation simply for trying to bring a child into the world.

Results: Thanks to the support of generous donors in 60 countries around the world , Fistula Foundation now funds more fistula surgeries than any other organization. To date, have partnered with more than 150 hospitals and clinics in 31 countries. In 2014, we launched a countrywide treatment program in Kenya, and built an integrated network of hospitals, surgeons, and community outreach organizations. This groundbreaking model delivered tremendous results-- in just three years, we provided thousands of surgeries, trained six surgeons, and conducted over 10,000 outreach events. We seized the momentum in 2017 and launched a second nationwide program in Zambia. Making strong progress in our first year, we trained two surgeons and brought together four hospitals. Between the two networks in Kenya and Zambia, over 3,800 women have already received treatment. Gifts from supporters like you have helped us transform the lives of more than 31,000 women across Africa and Asia. We are deeply grateful, but we know there is still so much work to be done. For every woman who receives surgery, an estimated 50 more wait. With continued focus, together, we can end fistula in a generation.

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: In 2017, we helped 6,685 women received 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: Since adopting a global mission in 2009, we have partnered with more than 150 hospitals and clinics in 31 countries in Africa and Asia.

Programs: We fund 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.

Community Stories

645 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Mal W.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with the Fistula Foundation for nearly a decade, including service on the board for the past two years, but I've never been prouder than I am now. This past week, our Executive Director, Kate Grant, had a phone meeting with the Islamic Development Bank. As Kate just reported to our board, the bank has "a new president and are planning a significant program to combat fistula in five countries (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Gambia and Sierra Leone), three of which we work in. They have followed our work and are very interested in our Kenya and Zambia country-wide models. We will likely work closely with them to provide ‘open source’ access to our plan, lessons learned and results, to help enable them to succeed where they are working, and to dovetail their work with ours in countries where we have partners." The Fistula Foundation will receive no funding from the bank. Our collaboration with them is strictly in support of our mission to eradicate obstetric fistula. Anyone who closely follows the nonprofit sector will be aware how rare it is for one organization simply to help another working in the same field.

Previous Stories
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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Some years ago I worked as a consultant to the Fistula Foundation, helping Kate Grant increase the effectiveness of the organization's fundraising activities. Afterwards, I continued to advise Kate from time to time on fundraising and governance. Recently I agreed to join the board of directors -- because I am so very impressed with the effectiveness and the efficiency of the organization's operations. I've worked with hundreds of nonprofits over the years. The Fistula Foundation is one of the most impressive organizations I've ever come across.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a wound, ostomy, continence nurse for 30 years and have worked with many patients with abdominal fistulas. The patients I work with are fortunate enough to have the means to pay for their surgeries and have accessibility. I support the Fistula foundation to help others in more disadvantaged situations. Thank you for all you do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last year as I was doing my field work I got a mother who had been discriminated by the husband due to leakage of urine this touched me as health worker I deed psychology counseling, and with the help of pastor I managed to take the mother to Bomu hospital for repair, since then I have been getting some mother and mothers who come for assistant of the same problem.
Challenges that I come a cross is there some men who have some how the same problem and to my effort I have been referring them to health facilities.
My plan is to hold a meeting doing psycho education (sensitization) to the community.

Joanne22

Donor

Rating: 5

I love supporting the Fistula Foundation because they are able to transform lives of women and their families in a very effective way. The surgical repair of obstetric fistula gives each woman the ability to be part of her community and to help others.

Donor

Rating: 5

As I have watched the US government diminish and withdraw support from causes that help poor women and children overseas, I have realized how essential it is to have organizations like the Fistula Foundation. What they do is life-saving for women and their families - in many cases appropriate intervention to prevent fistula or simple surgery to repair it can make a tremendous difference. Their tireless work and excellent public interface are examples for all non-profits to emulate! I will be pleased to continue my financial support of this organization, and I urge others to consider similar support.
Diane Mitchell, Hemet, CA

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a yearly donor to the Fistula Foundation for more than 1the years. I donate each year to pay for a fistula surgery for sister in need. This is an organization that uses most all their donations to creating hospitals and training surgeons to do this delicate and necessary surgery. I will continue to save a sister each year.

Lisa D.5

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported the Fistula Foundation for years for the vital work they do in numerous countries. They give women a new life with the treatment and support they provide. I’m proud the be associated with this organization and I plan to continue indefinitely!

Donor

Rating: 5

Fistula Foundation is doing really great work!
Is there any possiblity of making donations tax deductible in Germany and maybe other european Countries? Might motivate more donors.

Donor

Rating: 5

After reading "Half the Sky" and watching the video "A Walk to Beautiful" I was inspired to learn more about the Fistula Foundation. This organization restores life to so many women who have had to endure horrible physical conditions as a result of childbirth trauma. I feel blessed that I have been able to support the Fistula Foundation for over five years now , and I encourage everyone to join this humanitarian effort.

Susan P.5

Donor

Rating: 5

My confidence in the Fistula Foundation could not be higher. I am always sure that the donations I send will be used in the most efficient way to help the victims of this terrible condition.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Fistula Foundation does so much to improve women's lives for so little money. Obstetric fistula is maybe not an easy sell as a cause--but it is a common and devastating condition. The stories of the women involved and the heroic people who work to make their lives better never fail to move me.

Donor

Rating: 5

This charity gives women their lives back. It is a joy to think that whatever donation I can give, contributes to this wonderful cause. Imagine, a life with no hope is changed to one of purpose. They do wonderful work.

Writer

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a long time donor to this wonderful organization. They have literally given so many women a new life and helped restore their dignity and self worth. It gives me great joy to help, if only in a small way, in the success of their mission. Thank you, Fistula Foundation, for allowing me the opportunity to help return my many blessings from God.

Donor

Rating: 5

Enough cannot be said about the DEDICATION and PROFESIONALISM this organization demonstrates ON BEHALF OF WOMEN WORLDWIDE. As a small donor, I am very proud each time I see the tremendous progress they accomplish each year! Please keep those donations going, WHATEVER you can contribute!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to Fistula Foundation for several years. As a professional woman, I make a comfortable living, but am not wealthy. I want to give money to organizations where my relatively modest donations can have an important impact. Fistula Foundation is such an organization. The surgeries that they pay for and train doctors to perform change women's lives for the better immediately. Imagine being a woman who is isolated and ostracized because you cannot afford an operation that costs just a few hundred dollars. Imagine that you are another woman who has the ability to fund one or more operations that will permit other women to rejoin society as happy, active members. How could you not donate to an organization like Fistula Foundation that has a proven record of helping women get needed fistula surgeries?

Donor

Rating: 5

The Fistula Foundation has the best mission that I know of among American charities. It reaches out beyond our rich country to find and help entirely innocent people who are in the most desperate situation. The plight of a woman who is a victim of fistula can be resolved by an intervention that is relatively inexpensive and highly efficient, and it is ONLY by this medical intervention that a socially crippling and devastating outcome can be prevented. This is a high-leverage use of an American family's charity funds, so much better that smugly supporting other people who are much closer to us geographically and socially but whose needs are far less. The Fistula Foundation is much more far-sighted, and fills a great gap of imagination and knowledge in our home society by reaching out across oceans and worlds to cure women suffering from grievous accidents of childbirth.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an organization that really makes a difference in women's lives and in the world.
I'm proud to support Fistula Foundation!

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve supported the Fistula Foundation for a number of years. They do wonderful work restoring the lives and dignity of women.

Donor

Rating: 5

I joined the Fistula Foundation after meeting Dr Hamelin on Oprah. I was impressed by she and her husband’ s devotion, so I started supporting their work. I love that a small contribution can change a woman’ s life. I like the personal way staff acknowledges contributions...makes you feel special. It has become my favourite charity ....one I will support wholeheartedly!

Donor

Rating: 5

When I gave birth to my son it awakened the reality that many mothers around the world do not have access the the same medical care my son and I received. The Fistula Foundation provides life improving services to mothers around the world. By restoring their medical health, these women can give their best to their children, their community and to themselves. Instead of a Mother's Day gift I ask my family to make a donation to this top rated charity each year. No box of chocolates or flowers could ever replace the the work done by the Fistula Foundation Check them out on Charity Navigator and you'll see their impact on lives and stewardship with resources.