A one stop shop for maternal health and reproductive health news…
The team at Every Mother Counts just wrote a quick update about the work of Healing Hands of Joy, a community-based not-for-profit committed to improving the lives of women who suffer from or are at risk of obstetric fistula.
Healing Hands of Joy has come up with an interesting way to raise money and support for women in Ethiopia. When people sponsor a film screening of A Walk To Beautiful – an Emmy Award winning documentary that tells the story of obstetric fistula – they can ensure that 100% of the money they raise goes to funding a Fistula is not a Curse event and documentary screening in the community of a fistula survivor in Ethiopia.
The Healing Hands of Joy blog page is being updated regularly with some great stories of the women they help and the work that they’re doing. Here’s one of my favorite recent posts of theirs, about a woman named Brhane.
Brhane was born in the Tigray Region in the village of Jima. She was married at age 14 and experienced a total of 3 pregnancies (2 still births, 1 dead). Fistula occurred after four days of prolonged labor during her first pregnancy. She lived with fistula for three months, and during this time her husband left her. When Brhane suffered from fistula she complained to God that she was not cured and did not have a baby. “God, did I do worse sins than others? Why did you make my life dark, incomplete, and hopeless?”
She went for treatment at the Mekelle Fistula Hospital, but the damage was so severe she was referred to Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. Brhane had three fistula repair surgeries before she was cured. She had some awareness about fistula because her grandmother passed away from fistula 40 years before.
Brhane has been married three times, but because she was not fully cured, two of her husbands left her. Brhane is now living with her 3rd husband in a village that has a hand pump for water but no electricity.
The county health bureau screened her to join the training at Healing Hands of Joy. Brhane has a bright, full smile when she responds to questions and has been an active participant in the current class. Brhane wants to make herself spiritually strong and wishes to economically empower herself by fattening sheep and having a dairy farm. She is extremely happy at Healing Hands of Joy and with her training.