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The Fistula Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

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

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 31 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: 5,680 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: countries throughout Africa and Asia, having funded fistula treatment in 31 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.

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm not sure exactly how I learned of this nonprofit, but it was likely via one one of the sites that promotes petitions for the good of people, animals, the planet etc.

I read the stories and thought, this could have happened to me had I not been born and living in a place with decent medical care. The stories of the isolation and the problem itself touched me. These women live with far less than I do in their everyday life.

I learned of the dedicated staff and volunteers at the locations of the clinics and how much work they do with the resources they have. I learned about how far away medical care is for many of these women.

This is one of the nonprofits that I donate to that I know a real human being WILL receive a benefit (a better healthier life and support system-learning she wasn't the only one with this problem) from my donations. I like that. I've been donating off and on for about three years.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I believe deeply in what Kate Grant and the Fistula Foundation are doing for women. Nicholas Kristof opened my eyes to this foundation in 2006 with one of his columns and I have been giving continually when I can. I have received lovely notes of thanks, handwritten, and incredible updates on how specific women in various countries, whose lives would otherwise be ruined, are able to have the relatively inexpensive surgery and makes lives for themselves and their children.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been supporting Fistula Foundation since I first saw Dr. Hamlin talk about the suffering of women with obstetric fistula on the Oprah show and they are excellent at what they do.

The Fistula Foundation is a highly dedicated organization helping women with obstetric fistula - a devastating childbirth injury. They spend funds wisely by working with local partners and have very effective outreach programs in order to find the women that need their help. This is important because many women with obstetric fistula are shunned away from their families and communities, left to suffer alone. Even worse, many of these women have lost their babies during the childbirth process that injured them.

Please keep spreading the word to support Fistula Foundation and help put an end this needless suffering.

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Donor

Rating: 5

The suffering endured by women with fistula brings tears to my eyes; even more so knowing their suffering is completely fixable and preventable. They suffer alone, ostracized from their community, having lost their baby, their value as a wife, and control over their own bodies. Even worse, in some cases the women have suffered sexual violence. I cannot think of a better cause than to support the Fistula Foundation.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is not one of the widely known charity organizations and that's such a huge shame because the difference they make in the lives of women is exceptional & life-changing. The type of work they do is not a subject that's well-known and not talked about much, but it needs to be. There are women all over the world who suffer terribly after childbirth from a condition that's so easy to correct. God Bless the Fistula Foundation!!! Thank you all so much, you're angels on Earth!!!

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization works very hard to make sure every penny goes to proper & right use; they don't waste hard-working people's donation dollars on excess advertising & a bunch of percs & bonuses given out to president, board members, etc. Unlike the HSUS, the American Cancer Society and many others, the Fistula Foundation isn't missing any "misplaced" donation money. You can rest assured your donations go towards helping & healing the way they're supposed to. The Fistula Foundation isn't nearly as well-known as many other organizations which is a shame since they're one of the best ways your donations can truly make a real difference in the lives of all the people they help.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Until I read about this nonprofit in a Nicholas Kristof column in the New York Times, I was unaware of it, and I didn't know about fistulas. Now I'm glad I learned what a great job the Fistula Foundation is doing helping women. They make such a difference in their lives.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

If you we re married after the age of 20, chose when or if you wanted children, were attended by knowledgeable people while you gave birth and had no lifelong disabilities caused by having to deliver your own child alone (while you were a pre-teen) -- then kiss the ground and thank whichever deity you worship because you born in the West. In our world, obstetric fistula is practically unheard of. No woman would have to wander about, leaking urine and feces and being treated as a total pariah. In the unlikely event that a woman has the slightest fistula, surgery would take place in days, not years.

So, if this has nothing to do with our Western world, why give to the Fistula Foundation? Easy, because it's the right thing to do. Because we don't want little girls living outdoors, praying that she will not be eaten by hyenas as her family sleeps. Or because you won't find a better way to make a small donation that makes such a huge change in someone's life.

The amazing people at the Fistula Foundation can provide surgery that repairs an obstetric fistula, helps the young woman regain her self esteem after being treatd so badly, and helps her return home withds what is likely to be the first new set of clothing she has ever had. Not a bad deal for what I could spend on lunch at a restaurant every working for a month. (I really don't want the calories, anyway)

I know this is long, but you'd be hard put to find a charity stretch a dollar to do good like these people do. You can do good with people who are good at doing it. Give it a try. I'd be willing to bet that you'll have a good feeling in your heart for a long, long time.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My cousin Larry William took me to the newly opened fistula hospital in Jimma, Ethiopia in 2008. I was overcome with emotion for the young women whose lives had been saved by their fistula procedure. The women were so grateful for the chance to lead a normal, happy life. This visit was a life-changing experience for me, too.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am happy to have such a wonderful service to support. This work is life-saving and a little money goes a long way to benefit women and their communities and families. I urge people to give to this charity.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

THIS IS SUCH AN AMAZING FOUNDATION. I AM HONORED TO BE ABLE TO HELP
SUPPORT THEIR WORK WITH WOMEN THAT HAVE THIS PROBLEM.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a foundations that help women make a dramatic and life changing difference in their quality of life. They do IMPORTANT WORK!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization's work is desperately needed. The quality of their services is outstanding and they make a difference in the world by helping women recover from painful, embarrassing, and functional childbirth injuries.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had no idea this was a problem still (in the 21st century). We can and must do better for women worldwide who are physically impacted by childbirth, especially when the solution is relatively simple.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great organization helping women affected by fistula in the developing world to get their lives back.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The critical services provided by the Fistula Foundation are premier in type and quality. The all-encompassing implications of women suffering with fistula-related health issues cannot be understated. The Fistula Foundation provides a global voice and specialized care for those who would otherwise be forgotten, neglected and/or ostracized. I utilize Facebook and other public media to share The Fistula Foundation's work. In addition, I confidently include The Fistula Foundation in my yearly giving budget, assured (via their monthly newsletters) that their unique efforts (in collaboration with other humanitarian organizations) are of priceless value to the physical, social and spiritual well-being of the strong and valuable ladies for whom they provide care. Thank you to The Fistula Foundation and it's original founders for seeing such a distinctive need and for providing even more distinctive care.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The Fistula Foundation serves a community of women who would otherwise remain forgotten, neglected and suffering. I heard about this foundation through "Half the Sky" and was amazed (and saddened) that I had never before heard of such severe conditions surrounding the lives, community and health of these precious and deserving females. May the Fistula Foundation grow in support and effecacy so that the number of women enduring such experiences diminishes to non-existance.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have made monthly contributions to the Fistula Foundation for a number of years. Before signing up I researched the Foundation and found its ratings superb. I have not been disappointed, and feel the foundation is beyond superb. I say this not only because the work they do is so important and critical to relieve women's suffering, but also because the management of the Fistula Foundation is beyond reproach. A year ago I received a pleasant surprise from the Foundation. It was a beautiful certificate saying that my contributions had added up to payment for surgery for a woman in their care.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first learned of this nonprofit through a PBS documentary and was absolutely amazed at the wonderful work they do and the life-saving services they provide. I immediately posted a link on my own website urging people to visit their site and donate whatever they can (every little bit helps) to this most worthy organization.

Chris Sanchez

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have donated to The Fistula Foundation a couple of times. I really love this cause,and feel like it makes a huge difference in many young girls and women's lives. I love all the updates that are sent and really wish I had more to donate. This is a wonderful cause, fantastic group of individuals who are making a difference.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The Fistula Foundation gives care, relief and renewal to women who would otherwise suffer social/cultural stigmatization and lifelong physical suffering from this treatable condition. I learned about the foundation when I was researching non-profits that helped underserved women. I continue donating to Fistula Foundation because I know that my giving is directly relieving the suffering of other women and because my dollars are being spent wisely.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Years ago I saw the plight of those poor women on Oprah Show and was so very moved, My wife and I donate every month to this wonderful foundation, We believe it is so very worthy of all our support to make better lives for those suffering women.

1 kalinski.karen

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I don't know any other cause that so tears at your heart. Can you imagine that the experience that should be one of the most joyful in your life turns into a horror. Dead baby, ruined elimination, ostracism from your family and friends. Yes, this tragedy could be avoided if society would change, but in the meantime, the fistula foundation is redeeming the lives of so many women. And the need is still overwhelming. These are such dedicated and responsible people. I totally support their efforts. This is the only charity outside my church that I support. God bless!

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

These women with fistula tear my heart out. So ostracized and shamed for something that is not their fault. See "Walk to Beautiful". Although we would hope that this problem could be eradicated some day just by better maternity care and better treatment of women, nevertheless in the meanwhile I cannot think of any cause so worthy. Thank God this foundation is reaching out to these women in such need.