Interview Date: September 4, 2018
Interview Location: Phebe Rehab Center, Bong County, Liberia
Interviewers: Kathy Beth Stavinoha and Kathi Gutierrez
Hawa Kerkula was born in Lofa County. She grew up in Margibi with her three brothers. On April 18, 2017, she went to the hospital for a C-Section. Her child did not live. A week later, she started experiencing her problem (leaking). She was in the 12th grade.
Having an obstetric fistula is embarrassing. You can’t go among your friends. You have to stay alone. Even if you have someone encouraging you, you can end up killing yourself. It is very bad.
Hawa learned three trades: cosmetology, soap making, and embroidery. Her favorite is embroidery. After she graduates from the Phebe Rehabilitation Center, she is returning to Margibi where she hopes to finish high school before setting up a business. It would be hard to go to school and run a business at the same time because she would not pay attention to her lessons. She just has to complete her senior year. She really wants to go to school. Last year her father died and she has no help.
If her friends were pregnant, she would advise them to go to the hospital or a clinic to have their baby. She would discourage them from going to a midwife* because she would cause the fistula.
Hawa is a quiet girl and she needs help because she really wants to learn. She comes from a poor background and she wants to help her people but she has no support. She appeals to anyone who hears her voice to please come to her aid.
Hawa is a fistula survivor. Hear her story in her own voice.