Charity Spotlight: Fistula Foundation
Taken from this post: "We recently had the chance to talk with Metrine Malika, simply going by 'nana, an obstetric fistula survivor and a beneficiary of our rehabilitation and reintegration program, about her well-being, passion and plans after COVID 19. While she was scared, unsure back then, she's now taking back her power, starting all over and shares what's helping keep her focused on her new journey. The 32-year-old, mother of three had this to say; " I'm absolutely delighted to be of help during this pandemic, I am in a unique position to help sew masks that play a huge role in minimizing the spread of CoronaVirus. We may not afford to be on #frontlines but we love what we do. My services are needed, I feel so useful and that's what drives me. That feeling. They want me. They need me. It's powerful and healing on its own". She describes her life with Obstetric fistula as basically living between a rock and a hard place. She faced lots of rejection and neglect that saw her self esteem and desire to live dim. She was always depressed, frustrated, on edge and kept asking #isitjustme. After four years of suffering and anguish, our field team was able to track her. She received a successful repair that rendered her dry and normal again courtesy of Fistula Foundation Helping during this heavy times has played a huge role in her healing journey from being scared, unsure, anxious to someone whose more confident, dependable, steps into her fears, is much more grounded and plays bigger. We are sending her lots of ?? in her healing journey that's both inspiring and beautiful. Every crisis presents an opportunity, just like Nana, we hope you find yours and Excel."

Charity Spotlight: Fistula Foundation

Empowering Kenyan Fistula Survivors—and Soccer Stars!—to Sew Covid-19 Masks for the Community

In Kenya, Fistula Foundation’s partners use a number of creative ways to help women with obstetric fistula regain their health and confidence. Obstetric fistula is a wrenching childbirth injury that leaves a woman incontinent—and too often, suffering women hide themselves in shame. Corrective surgery and strong support services are essential for a woman’s full recovery. 

Monica Odato, captain of the “Kick Fistula Out of Africa” soccer team, holding several of the face masks she made at WADADIA. (Image courtesy of WADADIA)

Women and Development Against Distress in Africa (WADADIA) is one of Fistula Foundation’s key partners in Kenya. Among its many activities, WADADIA helps women re-adjust to daily life after surgery. They offer psychological counseling, economic empowerment, and job skills training like hairdressing and sewing.

The rural community where WADADIA works has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Amidst a sharp economic downturn, many women in the community are struggling to put food on the table, let alone afford pandemic essentials like face masks. To help, the fistula survivors in WADADIA’s rehabilitation program have doubled down on their sewing skills. They are making as many face masks as they can for neighbors in need. 

I am absolutely delighted to be of help during this pandemic,” said Metrine, a fistula survivor. “I am in a unique position to help sew masks that play a huge role in minimizing the spread of coronavirus.”

Metrine is working alongside other strong women, like Melania, a fistula survivor who is now a hairdressing instructor at WADADIA. When she heard that the tailoring department needed help, she traded her scissors for a sewing machine and decided to pitch in.

These extraordinary women aren’t working alone. During the pandemic, they’ve also joined forces with one of WADADIA’s most unique programs—a women’s soccer team called “Kick Fistula Out of Africa.” The team is dedicated to spreading the word about obstetric fistula in Kenya. Several fistula survivors play on the team, and at games, they conduct public health education at halftime. 

Melania, also a fistula survivor, normally teaches other women how to make a living as a hairdresser. During Covid-19, however, she’s joined the effort to provide free face masks for her neighbors. (Image courtesy of WADADIA)

Unfortunately, when Covid-19 struck, their league was forced to cancel its season. Now, instead of soccer matches, the women on the team are pitching in to help WADADIA make as many face masks as possible. Players like Monica Odato, captain of “Kick Fistula Out of Africa,” are glad for the opportunity to continue helping their community.

Fistula Foundation is the global leader in fistula treatment, providing more repair surgeries to more women than any other organization. We partner with carefully selected doctors, hospitals, and outreach partners—like WADADIA—trusted by the communities they serve. 

To help our partners respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, Fistula Foundation has opened a Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund. This fund is separate from our fistula treatment program and will close when a vaccine becomes available. If you would like to learn more about Fistula Foundation’s mission to end obstetric fistula, or our work addressing the Covid-19 crisis, please visit:



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Fistula Foundation

Fistula Foundation is a recommended charity of The Life You Can Save. Fistula Foundation provides funding for fistula surgery and treatment worldwide. Obstetric fistula is a preventable injury that can occur during complicated childbirth, with often devastating consequences for women and their families.

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The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.