The above quote is Dignity:Liberia’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion statement. Our board of directors is made up of men and women who belong to different political parties and church denominations, and who come from different areas of the country, some living in rural areas, some in urban settings.
Similarly, the women and girls we work with in Liberia come from different backgrounds. They come from different tribes and speak different tribal dialects. Some are from neighboring countries. They are different ages. Some are married, some are single. Leemue Cooper, matron of the Phebe Rehab Center, told me that with God’s help, she was able to put fistula survivors from different backgrounds together.
You see, they discovered that their obstetric fistula gave them more in common than the differences resulting from their backgrounds. Many of them had stillborn babies and many of them had hysterectomies as a result of their ordeal. When asked what makes it hard to live with fistula, they gave the following replies:
It’s very shameful. I thought I was the only one who had this “sickness.” People won’t come around you and you can’t go among them. I felt discouraged. Even some of my family would not come around me. I had to clean my clothes a lot. My boyfriend abandoned me. I feel less of a woman because I can no longer have children. My friends avoided me. I was abandoned by my friends. I shared my problem only with my sister for fear of gossip. I felt like nobody in society.
They are different, but pain does not recognize ethnic backgrounds and shame has no religion. Those of us who witness this suffering are moved to help, regardless of our beliefs. This is why it is so important to us to
complete building House of Hope and Dignity, our maternity waiting home, and see it in operation this fall, working to prevent the suffering and shame caused by this injury. We want to end the anguish caused by obstetric fistula in Liberia.
When asked what makes it hard to live with fistula, Jumah Fahnbulleh replied, “My life is not in peace.” What price do you put on peace? Please make your gift now by clicking going to our website or to our GoFundMe campaign. No gift is too small!