Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hope for Asenath

Since 2005, Uganda Village Project has provided direct assistance to over 220 women with fistula in rural eastern Uganda. To empower former fistula patients, raise awareness about the issue, and save more women’s lives, we’re expanding our fistula work by implementing the Fistula Ambassadors Program in 2014. This work is possible due to a generous grant from the Fistula Foundation, an organization committed to raising awareness of and funding for fistula treatment, prevention and educational programs worldwide.  

The Fistula Foundation has funded Uganda
Village Project to expand our fistula work and
implement the Fistula Ambassador's program.
The Fistula Ambassadors program will train former fistula patients to become Ambassadors by utilizing their trusted community networks to increase the impact of our fistula programs and services in local communities in Iganga. Ambassadors will conduct awareness and educational outreaches in communities, reach out to women and girls in their area who suffer from fistula, and support them through the surgery and reintegration process. The first training of Fistula Ambassadors will start next month.

Fistula survivors lend a powerful voice to speak out about fistula, and can play a valuable role in championing the issue by reaching out to their communities to help prevent and treat fistula, thereby saving countless
Photo of Asenath, who mobilizes her community around fistula prevention and treatment
Asenath helps other fistula patients in her region
numbers of women and girls suffering from fistula. Asenath, a fistula patient Uganda Village Project has worked with, has always been an example of strength and hope. At our most recent camp, Asenath echoed the ideas behind the Fistula Ambassador’s Program:

“Whether I am healed or not, I will continue to tell more women about fistula and identify more patients because someone once told me about fistula surgery.  And I can only repay them back by telling more women about free fistula surgery, for no woman should live like that when there is a chance of getting repaired.”

Asenath has had several unsuccessful surgeries, but she spends two days a week traveling to neighboring villages educating people about fistula. It is with this spirit that Uganda Village Project undertakes the expansion of our fistula work by implementing the Fistula Ambassador’s Program in 2014. Community by community, woman by woman—we hope to make fistula a thing of the past. And thanks to this generous grant from the Fistula Foundation, we’re step closer to that goal.      

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