A Fistula-Free Ethiopia

What is obstetric fistula?

Obstetric fistula is a devastating childbirth injury caused by prolonged and obstructed labor.

Obstetric fistula often results in a stillbirth, chronic incontinence, spousal abandonment, social stigma, and personal shame.

But there is hope.

Our Vision is to see a fistula free Ethiopia.

Healing Hands of Joy’s¬†mission is to see obstetric fistula eliminated from Ethiopia. We’ve developed a three-pronged strategy.



Eliminate obstetric fistula by training fistula survivors as Safe Motherhood Ambassadors who provide education and access to safe delivery options for pregnant mothers.


Rehabilitate women recovering from fistula with education, economic empowerment and counseling to transform their lives and support social reintegration.



Identify existing cases of fistula for treatment (referred to fistula hospitals for treatment and then invited to join the Healing Hands of Joy Safe Motherhood Ambassador program).

Our Model

The Safe Motherhood Ambassador Program

We developed a holistic rehabilitation program to help fistula survivors to rediscover their joy and self-esteem, then train them as educators so that they can reclaim their sense of purpose.

Our Safe Motherhood Ambassadors turn their greatest shame into their greatest strength. One Ambassador reaches an average of 94 other women with life-saving maternal health education.

Learn more about our Safe Motherhood Ambassador model with our short film The Ambassador, narrated by Natalie Imbruglia.

Ambassador Azalech Tsigie smiles with her PPE mask askew

Safe Motherhood Ambassadors

We help fistula survivors rediscover their joy and self-esteem, then train them to educate their communities about maternal health.

Training Male Allies

We turn the men in our Ambassadors’ lives into allies in fistula prevention and recovery.

Stakeholder Workshops

Stakeholder Workshops allow us to connect our Safe Motherhood Ambassadors with influential members of their communities that can form a support network for their work and reintegration.

Community Engagement

We use community engagement events to spread maternal health education to the most remote areas of Ethiopia, making sure no woman is left to suffer needlessly from fistula.

Experience our founder’s story in our 10th anniversary film, The Journey to Joy.

The Stats

Safe Motherhood Ambassadors Trained

Male Family Members Trained

Stakeholder Workshops Held

Community Members Reached


Meet Our Heroes

Join the Healing Circle!

Help bring healing to fistula survivors. For as little as $35 a month, you can provide a woman with training, supplies, and equipment to transform her life. Join the Healing Circle today!