Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hufflepuffs present The Fistula Foundation

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, said, “We can imagine better.”

Service learning project
In Dr. Catherine Howard’s class at Columbia College, “The Theology of Harry Potter,” students are required as part of their student service learning project to research an organization that Dining for Women <> has funded and present the findings to the class. To do this, the class was divided into Houses of the Harry Potter series: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. After the four presentations, the Houses will select one of the projects and raise donations for that particular organization.

Why Dining for Women?
Marsha Wallace had a vision of an organization that could empower women in developing countries by giving them work, education, and medical care thereby giving them human dignity. Out of this vision came Dining for Women where groups of women meet, see a program of the organization of the month to be funded, and dine together and donate. Chapters are all over the world, and last month Dining for Women raised $42,000 for the Fistula Foundation. Marsha Wallace imagined better and because of her vision hundreds of women are living with dignity, an education, work, and medical care, and are able to raise their children, therefore breaking the chain of poverty and illiteracy.
Dee Rogers and Heather Leeper

A summary of The Hufflepuffs’ presentation of the Fistula Foundation in Ethiopia
Members: Shadé Holmes, Katelyn Kirby, Heather Leeper, Taylen McEntire, and Dee Rodgers

What is obstetric fistula?
Katelyn Kirby 
The obstetric fistula is formed when a mother is trying to give birth unassisted. The continuous pressure of the baby’s head inside the birth canal causes the loss of circulation to part of the bladder tissue and sometimes the rectal wall. The tissue dies and drops out, leaving a hole. As a result, the mother is left incontinent of urine and in 20% of the cases, incontinent of bowel contents as well.

What are the consequences?
The baby is stillborn. Due to the smell of constant leakage, the women are mostly rejected by their husbands and families. They become social outcasts and have a deep sense of rejection and shame. They are subjected to profound trauma because of loss of status and dignity and live with immense pain constantly. They have possible paralysis of the lower body and are not able to have more children.

It is estimated 2 to 3 million women in developing countries are living with fistulas, and there are around 9,000 new cases per year in Ethiopia.
Why do women develop fistulas?
• They usually marry as teenagers and give birth to around six children not counting the ones lost during pregnancy.
Taylen McEntire and Shadé Holmes
• Customarily give birth at home with only a female elder.
• One obstetrician and gynecologist for every 530,000 women

Statistics for the women in Ethiopia
•720 maternal deaths per 100,000
• 500,000 suffer disabilities from complications during pregnancy
• 25,000 die due to pregnancy complications
•100,000 women suffer and 9,000 develop a fistula every year

The Fistula Foundation
Catherine Hamlin, an Australian obstetrician and gynecologist founded the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1974 with her late husband, Dr. Reginal Hamlin. Richard Haas and his daughter founded the American Friends Foundation for Childbirth Injuries which later became the Fistula Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to raise awareness of and funding for fistula treatment, prevention, and educational programs worldwide. They do this by funding programs such as the Hamlin Fistula Hospital.

The Fistula Foundation carries out its mission
Obstetric fistula is treatable and preventable. Surgery has a 93% cure rate. The Addis Ababa hospital has treated over 35,000 women who can return to a normal life. Midwifery college, Hamlin College of Midwives has been established.

The Hufflepuffs related the story of Abebush:The Tired Lady by Dr. Andrew Browning which can be found at

Reasons the Hufflepuffs think the class should choose the Fistula Foundation
• Helping will increase the way in which others and they perceive their dignity.
• Now they are treated as less than humans, worse than animals, and seen as worthless; shunned from society to live a life of solitude on the outskirts of town.
• All humans should treat one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (The Pastoral Constitution)
• Nature stands completely in need of social life. (The Pastoral Constitution)
• Every type of discrimination…is to be overcome and eradicated as they are contrary to God’s intent. (The Pastoral Constitution)
• We need to raise awareness.
• Procedures only costs $450 and include surgery, post operative care, rehabilitation, transportation, and a new dress.
• It will instantly change the lives of these women.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. (Mahatma Gandhi)

No comments:

Post a Comment