An amazing charity working tirelessly restoring health and dignity, ending unspeakable pain and trauma to countless women!
After learning about obstetric fistula ("Cutting for Stone" and "Half the Sky", both wonderful books, were my first introduction) I started doing some research into how I could contribute to this cause. One of the highly rated organizations I found out about was the WFF. Rather than simply making a donation now and again, I wanted to find a sustainable way to make money to donate to the WFF on an ongoing basis. At home in Singapore, I set up a social enterprise, "Liberty Rocks", designing and making jewelry to sell, with all the profits being donated to WFF. The jewelry is designed in Singapore and then made by women in Afghanistan and Thailand (who also benefit from the income) and then sold in Singapore. The idea is to create a positive cycle of women helping women. Raising awareness of fistula is a further benefit - around 95% of people I have met have never heard of it. WFF has been most supportive and sent me information which I am using as part of my campaign to get people to donate either directly or by buying the jewelry. I am very happy to say that the response has been very positive. Thank you to the WFF for their wonderful work!
To quote the great and beloved fistula surgeon, pioneer, and advocate, Dr. Reginald Hamlin, referring to the fistula pilgrims that he would find standing alone in urine soaked rags at the bus stops of Addis Ababa: "To meet only one was to be profoundly moved and called forth the utmost compassion that the human heart was capable of feeling."
I heartily commend the mission of the Worldwide Fistula Fund! Obstetric fistula is an 'orphan disease'. Victims of VVF need love, attention, compassion, caring, and help and the Worldwide Fistula Fund is championing this.
“I’ve had my family held at gunpoint, I’ve had malaria, I’ve had a serious exposure to H.I.V., I’ve been separated from family, and I’ve spent about a million hours crammed into coach class on airlines, but it’s worth it. I’d much rather live a meaningful life than a comfortable one.”
Dr. Arrowsmith, a physician who left a comfy job in the U.S. to rescue young women suffering from obstretic fistulas.
The Worldwide Fistula Fund steps up to provide invaluable help to arguably the most disenfranchised women in the world. Against the odds, it has built an incredible hospital on the border of Niger and Nigeria that provides free service for any girl or woman afflicted by obstetric fistula - a horrible condition that ruins lives and tears families asunder. The WFF has collected a team of the most respected clinical practitioners in the world to battle this condition and also works to raise awareness of safe birthing practices within affected communities to prevent the injury from ever occurring. There is perhaps no other charitable contribution one could make that has such an immediate and important effect as saving a woman from a lifetime of misery. The average price of this surgery is just a few hundred dollars...yet millions of women continue to needlessly suffer. The time to end this is now. It is an incredibly worthwhile cause and a wonderful organization.
I learned of this organization from an editorial written by N. Kristof in the New York Times. I was amazed to learn about the traumatic births many women endure, and the injury these women sustain. All of the people involved in fistula repair deserve recognition and honor. The Worldwide Fistula Fund works tirelessly to end obstetric fistulas for all. Big kudos!