Fistula Ambassador Toolkit

We are so glad to have your help in the fight against obstetric fistula. Please note that by visiting this page and making use of these resources, you agree that you have read and agree to our  Volunteer Ambassador Agreement.

About Fistula & Fistula Foundation

Fistula Foundation One Pager

“Just about the worst thing that can happen to a teenage girl in this world is to develop an osbtetric fistula that leaves her trickling body wastes, stinking and shunned by everyone around her.” – Nicholas Kristof

Obstetric fistula is the most devastating and serious of all childbirth injuries. It has been labeled the “most frightful affliction of humankind.” Fistula is preventable, when timely emergency obstetric care is available to women experiencing obstructed labor.

This overview document describes obstetric fistula and the scope of the problem globally. It highlights Fistula Foundation’s treatment model in countries where we have funded partners, and our accountability.

Download our one-pager by clicking here or on the image to the left.



Fast Facts & FAQ: For fistula facts and frequently asked questions about obstetric fistula, please visit the Fast Facts & FAQ section of our website.

Fistula in Film

A Walk to Beautiful

 A Walk to Beautiful

About:  “A Walk to Beautiful” is a masterful and moving documentary film about young women who, having been devastated by obstetric fistula, find health and dignity. It received the coveted and prestigious Distinguished Documentary Award from the International Documentary Association (IDA) and screened on PBS’s NOVA in May 2008, in March 2009, and September 2011. It received an Emmy Award in 2009 for Outstanding Informational Programming – Long Form.

Discuss: A discussion guide was created for this film. View or print this 12 page guide to use at your event by downloading it here.


Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

About: Now available on DVD, the documentary film “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” is based on the best-selling book of the same name, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. In the film, Mr. Kristof takes A-list celebrity advocates America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde to ten different countries to introduce viewers to women and girls who live under some of the most difficult circumstances available, yet are fighting bravely to change them.

Fistula Foundation partner Edna Adan, founder of Edna Adan University Hospital, is featured in part 2 of this documentary in a segment about maternal mortality. Edna and her hospital are long-term partners of Fistula Foundation and donor funds have been sent to her facility to provide for a new operating room dedicated to fistula treatment, to help provide an anesthetist at the hospital, and to fund visits by an expert fistula surgeon who conducts fistula repair surgeries at the hospital and trains hospital staff in fistula surgery and care management. (Read more about Fistula Foundation’s efforts in Somaliland.)

Watch: Copies of the full-length DVD can be ordered via, or the film can be streamed online via iTunes (part 1 | part 2) or Netflix. If you will be holding an event for more than 10 people, you may request a free video toolkit from Fistula Foundation by sending an e-mail to: In your request, please include a one-sentence overview of the event you wish to hold, the number of people you expect to attend and a mailing address to where we can send your DVD toolkit.

Discuss: Fistula Foundation has created a fistula-related discussion guide for part 2 of this documentary. PBS Independent Lens has produced a free, downloadable discussion guide for the maternal mortality portion of the film, which covers a variety of issues facing mothers in the developing world.

Additional Activities: This film is part of the Half the Sky Movement, a larger multimedia campaign that brings together video, websites, games, blogs and other educational tools to raise awareness and empower women worldwide. Play the Facebook game | View & download customizable resources | Watch video clips from the film | Read the Half the Sky Movement blog

Fistula in Books

Cutting for Stone, by Abraham VergheseCutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.

Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City and back again, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles–and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined. – via


A Thousand Sisters, by Lisa J. ShannonA Thousand Sisters, by Lisa J. Shannon

Lisa Shannon had what some would call a good life—her own business, a successful fiancé, a secure home. Then one day in 2005, shortly after her father’s death, an episode of Oprah changed everything. The show about women in the Congo depicted atrocities too horrible to comprehend: millions dead, women gang-raped and tortured, children starving and dying in shocking numbers. That day Lisa woke up to her dissatisfaction with the “good” life and to her role as an activist and a sister.

She created a foundation called Run for Congo Women, with the goal to raise money to sponsor 30 Congolese women. What started as a solo 30-mile run has now grown into a national organization in connection with Women for Women International. Run for Congo Women holds fundraising runs in four countries and ten states, and continues to raise money and awareness. In A Thousand Sisters, Lisa shares firsthand accounts of her experiences visiting the Congo, the women she’s helped, and the relationships she’s formed. With compelling stories of why she remains committed to this cause, Lisa inspires her audience to reach out and help as well, forming a sisterhood that transcends geographic boundaries. – via

The Life You Can Save, Peter SingerThe Life You Can Save, by Peter Singer

For the first time in history, eradicating world poverty is within our reach. Yet around the world, a billion people struggle to live each day on less than many of us pay for bottled water. In The Life You Can Save, Peter Singer uses ethical arguments, illuminating examples, and case studies of charitable giving to show that our current response to world poverty is not only insufficient but morally indefensible. The Life You Can Save teaches us to be a part of the solution, helping others as we help ourselves. – via



Additional Resources

Ana's Story - AngolaPatient Stories: Stories of women who have been healed of their obstetric fistula are one of the best ways to help others understand how obstetric fistula impacts the lives of women. We encourage you to visit the One Woman’s Story page of our site for printable stories about women who have been healed by our partners in the field.

Videos: We have created a variety of videos about Fistula Foundation partners, women treated, and about our work. We encourage you to browse our videos and select one or two that fit your event.

Requests for Printed Materials. Circle of Friends Ambassadors may contact Fistula Foundation for printed copies of materials. By request, we can send copies of our latest Annual Report, our more brief Progress Report, or copies of our latest Transformations newsletter.

To request printed materials, please e-mail us at and indicate the type of event you are planning, the quantity and type of materials you wish to receive, and the date by which you need these items. Don’t forget to include your mailing address!

Holding a Public Event?

Fistula Foundation can help you publicize your event by:

  • Tweeting your event details to our Twitter followers (find us at @Fistula_Fdtn)
  • Posting your event details to our Facebook events page
  • Tagging your organization or event location in a status update on our Facebook page
  • Posting a photo from your event to our Facebook and Twitter feeds after your event takes place, to help you publicly thank your supporters.
  • Providing a quote from our CEO Kate Grant for your website, newsletter or other materials.
  • Providing a brief welcome or thank you video from Fistula Foundation CEO Kate Grant to your attendees, which you can show before or after your film screening.

To request support for your public event, please e-mail and share details of your event along with the support you hope to receive.