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).
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.
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 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.
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.