Labor is an intensely personal experience – a giving over of control and time and expectations. A prolonged active labor can foreshadow an unhappy ending. The women and girls who develop fistulas in labor endure horrible hours and days of extraordinary, mind-numbing pain that repeats without end. When it does finally end, her baby is often stillborn; often it is her firstborn. The fistula leaves her with urinary or fecal incontinence. Or both. And not the “trickle when she sneezes” incontinence, but a continuous, uncontrollable flow. An unending reminder of those horrible days and her horrible loss. She is often isolated, by her own volition or by her community’s hands, to grieve and recover and live alone. Some women continue in this isolation for decades. One by One finds these isolated women, quite literally one by one. They are brought for treatment -- both repairing their physical disabilities and their social rifts. The One By One solidarity circles support these women to get the needed treatment, which is surgical. (The surgeons sponsored by One by One have proven track records.) The One By One solidarity circles continue to support the women after surgery, offering for them to join the ever-growing community of repaired fistula survivors and to help others who have suffered the same fate. The solidarity circles go out into their region, educate others about fistula and its prevention, and search for more isolated fistula survivors to help – one by one.
Those who know me well know I love to dance. I love to teach. I love to stand in crowded, loud concerts. What do you love to do? Tennis? Shop? Hike? Hang out with your girlfriends and laugh? Women with fistula can do none of this. Not even for an afternoon. Of course, they would like to, but the opportunity to know about treatment, to get transport to treatment, to pay for treatment, and to recover from treatment and join society is not available to them. Until the amazing women of One By One find them. A woman’s life is actually changed by each $500 given to One By One. Your giving adds up, one by one, to do that. Let’s change 4 women’s lives.
Please scroll through my tabs and through this site to learn more about fistula and why I hope you will give. Your contribution, small or large, will help change someone's life. One By One, we can move toward a better world together.
“My family now respects me,” Immaculate says. Based on her tenacity and the garments she makes, her future in the industry is bright. When asked whether she wants to get married she says, “To talk of marriage, I don’t feel like getting married at this time. I would like first to achieve my goal, because without, I can’t make it.”
Between now and the end of the year, we plan to raise $150,000 to fund outreach, surgical treatment and residential reintegration for 235 women & girls living with obstetric fistula in rural areas of Uganda. With your help through this online campaign, we hope to raise the funds for at least 36 of these women by #GivingTuesday on November 28.
One By One 2017 Fistula Surgery Fund