THANK YOU for your ongoing support of the Ethiopia Fistula project!
Click here to read a profile of Kristie's work in the world in The Huffington Post!
In 2015 Kristie returned for her 6th trip to Ethiopia to continue her efforts on behalf of women suffering from the childbirth injury of Obstetric Fistula. The trip allowed opportunities to meet with a number of new organizations and to spend time with fistula patients at the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, the Healing Hands of Joy center in Mekelle, and in Begi, her project site in Western Ethiopia.
This trip also highlighted a partnership with Days For Girls which specializes in creating menstrual solutions for women and girls around the world. Their washable, re-usable cloth kits enable girls to stay in school and women to remain at work and to reclaim more days of their lives with dignity and health. Heavier, thicker versions of the kits can also be used for obstetric fistula patients.
Kristie brought samples of the kits to organizaitons, high school girls in Begi and obstetric fistula patients. She also purchased fabric and a sewing machine so that a sewing cooperative can be established and kits can be made and purchased locally.
This trip was possible through the ongoing support of generous donors like you. Please click HERE to read about Kristie's latest journey.
Kristie is helping women rebuild their confidence and lives through improved self-esteem, perseverance, and income-generating activities. The goal is to move fistula survivors into self-sufficiency and financial independence.
To watch Kristie's 23-minute film about this inspiring project, please click HERE.
Click HERE for the story on NPR's "All Things Considered"
Need some background information? Kristie first traveled to Ethiopia with SalaamGarage in 2010 to raise awareness of women's reproductive health and the childbirth injury of Obstetric Fistula. In 2011, she returned for a month-long, solo 2nd trip to continue to build relationships and conduct research on the feasibility and necessary details of building a hydro-powered grinding mill.
In 2012 Kristie led a donor trip to see the completed mill and to learn more about other fistula-related programs in the country. In 2013 she returned to monitor progress, visit villages and bring fistula patients together in Circle for a time of storytelling, creative problem solving and profound healing.
An additional trip in 2013 brought profound progress with new income-generation projects, training on financial record-keeping and transparency, and hut construction for women without a safe place to live. Additionally, with the help of a generous donor, funding was raised for a bore hole (for clean water!) and hospital beds and supplies for the BGS clinic.
Kristie hopes to expand her work by creating further opportunities for fistula patients to identify their challenges and craft practical ways to help themselves and each other move forward, safely share their stories in Circle and deepen their community. However, significant challenges still remain. In 2014, a longtime fistula support program withdrew its funding leaving countless women in the region without the means to reach treatment. Your continued care and support is immeasurably appreciated!
In order to continue her humanitarian efforts, Kristie is seeking sustainable funding and global partnerships. To receive additional information, share frequent flier miles, or inquire about volunteer or travel opportunities, please click here: