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Andrea John-Smith
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Raised: $485 | Target: $0 | Left: $0

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Andrea here -- Hi. 

Until recently, you would not have heard me advocating for global causes. This year, I began working with two global development clients -- including One By One. While I still give locally, I now get the moral imperative of sharing the bounty of my life with people a world away  -- people suffering for dumb and fixable reasons. 

No, all of Africa is not a sob story. Africa is a thriving and taking charge of its own destiny. That said, the legacy of colonialism and the gap between the well-off iand the very poor is huge. Governments do not have the resources to provide what we here think are baseline. Roads. Hospitals. Healthcare treatment. 

Bottom line? Low income women in developing countries suffer -- a lot. Why? Because they are not valued -- simple as that. While we experience very real misogyny here at home, it is magnified to horrific proportions in places like Kenya, Malawi, Uganda. There, ancient cultural norms combined with a profound lack of health and economic infrastructure mean that women and girls as young as 10 suffer injuries and dye in child birth at very high numbers. Those who do survive are often disabled and shunned for life. 

Obstetric fistula is a way in -- By treating this condition, we have a chance to eradicate this stupid problem from the world forever. Like we did with polio. Like we did with measles. By addressing fistula, we empower and lift up women who have been written off and forgotten.

A little goes a long way. Join me.

How is One By One unique?
In the last ten years, obstetric fistula has gotten on the proverbial map. Thanks to the United Nation's Population Fund's Campaign to End Fistula and the work of many caring individuals and NGOs dedicated to addressing this unacceptable human rights issue, people around the world are aiming to END FISTULA WITHIN A GENERATION. This is a huge and audacious goal.

One By One is well known for developing a groundbreaking Kenya-based grassroots outreach program. Groundbreaking because even in circumstnaces where outpatient surgical treatment is available, women from poor, rural areas cannot learn about it, let alone access it. Living in remote areas, women and girls with obstetric face many barriers to treatment -- from transportation to the cost of surgery.

Over the organization's brief tenure, One By One has worked with local change makers to development an emplemplary, high quality surgical treatment center (Gynocare), create a network of local outreach workers and community educators -- many of them fistula survivors themselves -- and identify and make treatment possible for 2,000 women and girls. 

One By One believes that ending fistula must be locally driven and woman-centered. Fistula results from a lack of access to safe childbirth. So, while treatment is essential, it is not enough. Women recovering from fistula are recovering from suffer trauma, community isolation, and poverty. Treatment is a step toward a journey of empowerment and redemption. By supporting treatment, you are giving a woman or a girl a chance to live and thrive. You are putting women on the path to become respected advocates for others like them.

One By One is funded almost entirely by individual contributions. One surgery costs just $500. So a little goes a long way. Learn more about fistula and One By One at this web site.