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Did you know that obstetric fistula results from obstructed labor that has been left untreated, and that it particularly affects women in developing countries who don't have access to proper health care?

Meet Our Supporters

  • Supporter Spotlight - IBC

    Maryland/DC: Informed Birth Choices

      Informed Birth Choices (IBC) is an organization in the Maryland/DC area that offers childbirth classes and doula services to the community. In May, they held a car seat safety event and fundraiser for Fistula Foundation that raised $250! The following is part of a blog post about the event, reprinted from their website,….

  • Supporter Story - Wardah Inam

    Supporter Spotlight: Wardah Inam

    Many years ago, Wardah Inam learned about the condition of obstetric fistula while watching an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. At the time, she didn’t know what she could do to help the women suffering from the issue, but the show left such a lasting impression on her about the severity of fistula that…

  • Alysse Leite-Rogers

    Climbing Kilimanjaro in the Fight Against Fistula

    The North Shore News reports on a North Vancouver, B.C. realtor who is raising funds for Fistula Foundation by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro: ALYSSE Leite-Rogers, a Lynn Valley mother of three boys, felt overwhelmingly blessed. Back in 2006, she caught an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show that tackled a topic she was unfamiliar with: fistula, a devastating…

  • Ling Darren Lew

    The Lew Family

    Helping women in underprivileged areas of the world has always been important to Ling and Darren Lew, and the film “A Walk to Beautiful” moved them to make a difference. They began to donate monthly, and decided to supplement their regular giving with a generous gift of stock. Now that Darren and Ling have two…

  • Lauren Jelks

    Lauren Jelks Counted Her Pennies

    Lauren first learned about obstetric fistula from her older brother. “I realized that this is a really important issue that people aren’t really aware of. and not only are they not aware of it, but it’s so easy to fix.” A senior at Castro Valley High School, Lauren founded the 50/50 Feminist Club, which met…

  • Mothers' Day Movement

    Mothers’ Day Movement

        The Mothers’ Day Movement began with a small group of women who were inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. After learning how much was spent annually in the United States on Mother’s Day celebrations for items like flowers, cards…

  • Alexandra Lockett and Paul Hauser

    A Generous Young Couple

    Many young couples planning a wedding visit department stores and register for everything from china to toaster ovens. Alexandra Lockett and Paul Hauser had another idea. Rather than encourage their friends and family to buy gifts for them, this generous young couple asked their wedding guests to make donations to the Fistula Foundation. In July…

  • Carolyn

    Supporter Spotlight: Carolyn Cooper

    Several years ago, Carolyn Cooper was introduced to Fistula Foundation’s work through a video. She found herself drawn to the cause on an emotional level. “The bond you have with other women through childbirth is very powerful,” she shared. Having also read Nicholas Kristof’s columns in the New York Times featuring women struggling to overcome the stigma of obstetric fistula, she was moved…

  • Fistula Foundation Supporter Spotlight - Adele Ohs 2

    Adele Ohs

    Several years ago, a friend encouraged Adele Ohs to watch a documentary film about obstetric fistula. She was profoundly moved by the film and immediately found Fistula Foundation online and made a small contribution. That same year, Adele’s husband had the opportunity to visit the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital during a trip to Ethiopia, and…

  • Lauren Jelks 1

    Lauren Jelks

    Lauren first learned about obstetric fistula from her older brother. “I realized that this is a really important issue that people aren’t really aware of. And not only are they not aware of it, but it’s so easy to fix.” A senior at Castro Valley High School, Lauren had founded the 50/50 club, which met…

  • Raise for Women Challenge

    Raise for Women Challenge

    Fistula Foundation recently participated in the Raise for Women Challenge, a fundraising campaign launched by The Huffington Post, Skoll Foundation and the Half the Sky Movement, that was designed to draw attention to women’s issues like ours. Participating organizations had one goal: to raise the most money over the course of the campaign in order to…

  • AndyDutcher2

    Andy Dutcher

    In 2003, Andy Dutcher read a column by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times about a woman who had been raped, lost the baby, developed fistula and was subsequently abandoned and left to fight her way toward eventual treatment. He couldn’t stop thinking about her story. He took the article to his church giving…

  • Supporter Spotlight - Kids Helping Kids

    Palo Alto, CA: Students Put On Benefit Piano Concert

    On May 31, 2014, students Timothy Yang, Mason Lau, Ray William and Rose William of Palo Alto, California hosted a piano concert at their local Unitarian Universalist Church. They generously donated all proceeds to charity, and we were honored to be one of their chosen benefactors! These talented young musicians practiced for months to perform…

  • ReporterNewspapers-LB1

    20 Under 20: Local Students Make a Difference

    Reporter Newspapers highlights 20 young students making a difference for a better community, and lists Sofia Broffman as an example of excellent service and support for maternal health and Fistula Foundation. “Sofia Broffman began raising funds in 2014 for the Fistula Foundation, after learning more about the long-term effects of obstetric fistula, a birth injury that afflicts…

  • Photography Exhibit by Veronica Gray

    Photographer Builds Awareness Through New York City Exhibit

    Fistula Foundation supporter and photographer Veronica Gray, of Laguna Beach, California, has long been committed to bringing awareness to the plight of women suffering from obstetric fistula, and frequently puts her skills as a photographer to use to shine a light on this and other issues facing women. Veronica’s photos from a recent trip to…

  • kirsten plate_square

    Supporter Spotlight: Kirsten Plate

    Sometimes discovering important causes comes from sources outside of an individual like a pamphlet or a commercial. Other times, the sources come from a personal place. Kirsten Plate’s path to Fistula Foundation was personal. A friend of hers once developed a fistula. Even with the best care imaginable in the United States, the experience was…

  • Madeline Sheron

    Madeline Sheron

    Madeline Sheron first learned about fistula after reading Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women and Girls Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn. She was so inspired that she wanted to do something to help – she brought Half the Sky to her book club and then decided to put on an…

  • Tesfa Ineste

    Tesfa Ineste: Volunteers with a Heart

    Tesfa Ineste means “let’s give them hope” in Amharic, a main language in Ethiopia – and is a fundraising cam­paign of the Fistula Foundation established to raise funds for the construction of the Fistula Hospital in Harar. Through the dedication and generosity of the Ethiopian-American community in the United States, Tesfa Ineste raised nearly $300,000…

  • Dining For Women (DFW)

    Dining for Women

    When Dining for Women (DFW) learned of the work of the Fistula Foundation a few years ago, its members were excited to see that the Foundation’s aims resonate so deeply with DFW’s own mission. Dining for Women is a national non-profit organization based in Greenville, South Carolina. It empowers women globally who live in extreme…

  • Members of Starfish Club at Brookline High

    Brookline, MA: The Starfish Club

    In 2010, a then 12-year-old grade school student in Brookline, MA named Sarah Gladstone was inspired when she read the book Half the Sky: Turning Opppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. She decided to act in support of women and girls suffering from the childbirth injury of obstetric fistula by creating The Starfish Project, through…

  • Izzy Howerton

    St. Louis, MO: Running for a Reason

    Izzy Howerton is a runner who loves to go the distance. Earlier this year, she put her hobby to use by hitting the pavement for women with obstetric fistula. Inspired by a Global Action Project class, in which she learned about global issues and how to solve them, Izzy decided to take on the issue…

  • rosemarie-delmonte-2

    Supporter Spotlight: Rosemarie DelMonte

    Meet Rosemarie DelMonte. Colorado Attorney. Mother. Fistula survivor. She learned of Fistula Foundation through an online post by Melinda Gates. “I had no idea there was an organization helping women with [fistula],” she said. “I felt profoundly moved by it and that’s why I sent the donation. I know how it affected my life and…

  • Mary Ann McCammon1292

    Raising Awareness Through Quilting

    Mary Ann McCammon Yamhill, OR Mary Ann has always been interested in improving the lives of disadvantaged women. When she learned about obstetric fistula more than a decade ago, she was determined to find a way to help. She realized her talent for quilting might be a clever way to help educate others about this…

  • Sue Hoese

    The Dignity Bracelet: A Story of Giving

    Like many who saw the January 2004 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show featuring Dr. Catherine Hamlin, Sue Hoese had never heard of an obstetric fistula. The show opened her eyes and moved her to take action. She founded a group called the “Bead Together Circle of Friends” to make beaded bracelets for patients at…

  • Chamberlain Supporter Spotlight

    Supporter Spotlight: The Chamberlains and Kitovu Hospital in Uganda

    The Chamberlains interest in fistula began by chance 16 years ago when their daughter Annie was writing a college report on male circumcision. Her mother Linda suggested she also read up on female circumcision, and Annie eventually forwarded Linda a website on the subject that would change their lives forever. After extensive research on female…

  • Patrick Force

    Supporter Spotlight: An Interview with Patrick Force

    After speaking with a friend about the dream of a large-scale hike, Patrick decided to embark on an epic, near 1,900-mile trek for charity along one of the three major U.S. long-distance hiking trails: the Continental Divide. Running a total of 3,100 miles, the trail can be hazardous. But adventure called to Patrick, and before…

  • Silky Kisses

    Supporter Spotlight: Silky Kisses

    We all sleep. Why not sleep on a deliciously luxurious silk pillowcase, better yet one whose proceeds support women suffering from fistula? Silky Kisses is a non-profit organization in Australia that “focuses on positive giving through shopping” – 100% of net profits from the sale of their pillowcases are donated to Fistula Foundation. Since 2013,…

  • Natalie P.

    Hoboken, NJ: Student works to “Improve a Life”

    This summer, we received a letter and generous contribution from Natalie P., at the time an 8th grader at Elysian Charter School in Hoboken, NJ. She had selected Fistula Foundation as the focus of her “Improve a Life” project for her Humanities class, a project through which students raise funds and awareness for a cause…

  • Quilt - Celebrating Dignity

    Mary Ann McCammon

    Mary Ann has always been interested in improving the lives of disadvantaged women. When she learned about obstetric fistula more than a decade ago, she was determined to find a way to help. She realized her talent for quilting might be a clever way to help educate others about this heartbreaking condition. Her first quilt…

  • Fistula Foundation News

    Kimberly Robinson

    “I am proud to have supported the Fistula Foundation for the last eight years, and even more proud to announce that Fistula Foundation has been accepted into the Employee Matching Gifts prog ram at The Walt Disney Company Foundation! Disney employees worldwide can now have their donations matched, up to $15,000 per employee, per calendar…

  • Ayana and Her Mother

    5-year-old Turns a $25 Gift Into $900 in Matching Support

    One of the Fistula Foundation’s youngest supporters is Ayana, a 5-year-old philanthropist-in-the-making who lives in western Canada. Ayana is adopted and wanted to do something to support women and girls living in her birth country of Ethiopia. Her mother, Lisa, is a Fistula Foundation supporter and activist who runs the Knit for Fistula – Blanket…

  • Fistula Foundation - Natalie Gelman Concert

    Benefit Concert Funds Fistula Treatment

    Sue Hoese first heard about fistula on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005. She was moved by the program, and soon found herself watching the documentary “A Walk to Beautiful” and brainstorming ways to get involved. As a jewelry maker in her spare time, Sue decided to gather a group of friends…

  • Priti Khanal

    Priti Khanal

    Everyone who knows Priti Khanal of Jersey City, NJ, knows that her birthday party is always going to be an impressive celebration. And that’s why everyone who knows Priti was intrigued when she told them what she wanted to do for her 27th birthday: give it up in support of Fistula Foundation. Priti has been…

  • tourdelindsay

    Lindsay B is a nurse living in the Bay Area who found Fistula Foundation through the work of ethicist Peter Singer. This year for the holiday season, she’s committed to increasing her donation to Fistula Foundation with every comment, like or share of her blog post embedded below. This year, I want to make a…

  • anewscafe

    The Path and Privilege of Citizenship

    Fistula Foundation supporter Kirsten Plate has been a terrific advocate for women suffering from fistula. Read her story on our website here, or check out the news clip about her below. Click here to continue reading the article on the website. The Path and Privilege of Citizenship

  • Lincoln School in Costa Rica

    Costa Rica: 8th Graders Commit to Treating Fistula

    Over the last two years, students in the 8th grade class at Lincoln School in Costa Rica have raised nearly $10,000 toward Fistula Foundation’s efforts to treat women who are suffering from obstetric fistula. Inspired by a teacher who has a passion for current affairs, the students have been committed to helping heal women with…

  • Students at Marymount Manhattan College

    Students at Marymount Manhattan College Raise Funds for Women in DR Congo

    In December, students at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City performed Ruined, a play about the challenges women face in war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Through the performance, the cast and crew raised $2,700 for Fistula Foundation partner Panzi Hospital in DRC – nearly $1,000 above the fundraising goal they had set for…

  • Photo Credit: MarkedsPartner

    Supporter Spotlight: Evert Meulie

    Over the years, Evert Meulie had supported various charities, making the occasional donation, but not as regularly as he wanted. In 2011, rather than receiving a discount on an Apple iPad as a holiday bonus, he asked if his employer would instead donate the money to a charity of his choosing. They did, and that…

  • Supporter Spotlight 1

    Denise Alden & Bombshell

    Supporter Spotlight: Denise Alden & Bombshell Fashionista Denise Alden is the owner of Bombshell, a boutique in Minneapolis, Minnesota that caters to women of style and substance who wear sizes 14 to 24. For the past several years, Denise has organized a campaign around Mother’s Day to educate customers about obstetric fistula and encourage shoppers…

  • Fistula Foundation News

    Charity Concert in Support of Fistula Foundation

    On May 2, 2015, a group of middle and high school students from Palo Alto, California organized and hosted a piano concert at their church in support of local charities, and we were honored to be one of their chosen benefactors! These young musicians performed a variety of pieces on the piano, flute and saxophone,…

  • Elisa and Sofia

    Inspired by Mom

    In the spring of 2013, filmmaker Elisa Gambino and her husband, Neal Broffman, visited Gondar University Hospital in Ethiopia with partners Fistula Foundation and Johnson & Johnson. Elisa and Neal were there to interview and film the fistula treatment work we both supported at this facility. It was the first time she had met with obstetric fistula patients…

  • Vince Gallagher

    Vince Gallagher

    Vince Gallagher has shared Fistula Foundation’s work through lectures about the impacts of globalization since 2009, raising a significant amount of funds in the process. “It is devastating that women are still treated as property; that many suffer so much in childbirth and are then cast aside to live in isolation. When I realized one…

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