Month: May 2015

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Periods Change Lives: Just a girl – yet a woman now

An original poem Written by Chandiru Barbra – Mackay Memorial College Nateete She was just a girl With the simplicity And naivity of childhood The world too friendly All faces smiling at her Never afraid of rising For shoulders were provided for her Never afraid of falling For her dreams seemed too clear She was just a girl   Whose mother was never open to her Her face full of innocence All realities of life seemed a mystery Her generality admired by all Some genuine and others lustful But she was never afraid Bred and protected by love Until the day   The day every one laughs Scared and terrified she cries Giggling and booing by people People she once adored What on earth is wrong? Her beautiful dress Stained … Stained with blood. “What on earth is wrong?”   Rushing to the bathroom She not hurt Yet the blood still flows All her friends laugh She screams but does not know why “Is this so normal?”   Yes it is Part of growing up Is …


Periods Change Lives: Clueless Dad

An Original Poem Written by Yvonne Nyatundo – Maseno University Daddy listen to me Please listen I barely slept last night The pain was exhilarating What is happening to me? Daddy listen to me Please listen My abdomen hurts It’s bloated What is happening to me? Daddy listen to me Please listen Boys laughed at me When they saw blood on my skirt What is happening to me? Daddy listen to me Please listen My hips are broadening Don’t you see? What is happening to me? Daddy listen to me Please listen You shook your head puzzled Your expression clueless What is happening to me? Daddy listen to me Please listen I’m scared I’m ashamed What is happening to me? Daddy listen to me Please listen You should know I need answers What is happening to me? All dad’s please participate in the World Menstrual hygiene day (28th May, MH day) so as to be more knowledgeable on menstruation and evade such clueless moments with your daughters. Watch the Periods Change Lives video  

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Periods Change Lives: Broken Dreams

An Original Poem Written by Akello Charlotte – Makere University A s a young girl My dream was to study hard Get a bright future Grow into a big girl. I worked hard in school Nothing seemed to deter me The future seemed so bright. Great job Great house Great car And of course children. It wasn’t until one day, Seated in class I find blood on my cloth I rush to the toilet. No water to clean myself. I use papers to try and stop the blood I can’t go back to class The blood is so scary Could it be that am sick? Or a bad omen? Or a disease? Am caught up in a dilemma? No one cares Everyone runs away from me Laughing at me No one to hold my hand. I rush home Too confused to tell anyone Mother suggests I stay home It seems the best to do I suffer in silence. So I use rugs The pain is much I stay in bed Am I cursed? I miss school I …

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An Interview with Kate Grant and the Fistula Foundation

Girls’ Globe values the voices of the incredible organizations in our network. Over the next year, Girls’ Globe will continue to highlight the amazing work of these organizations and what they are doing to improve the health and well-being of women and children around the world. Last week, in honor of the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula we “sat down” with CEO of The Fistula Foundation, Kate Grant. Read the interview below and learn more about the they are doing to improve the the health of women around the world. 1. Earlier this week the G4 Alliance launched globally at the WHA in Geneva, Switzerland – an alliance in place to improve​ access to care in Surgery, Obstetrics, Trauma and Anaesthesia. What does this alliance hope to achieve and how is Fistula Foundation involved? The goal of the G4 Alliance is to advocate for neglected surgical patients (i.e. those in low-resource countries) and to provide a collective voice for increasing access to safe, essential and timely surgical, obstetric, trauma and anesthesia care as part of universal health coverage. The …


International Day to End Fistula

Obstetric fistula is a complicated term for a simple, devastating condition. Caused by prolonged labor or difficult births, obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and the rectum. When a baby’s head is pushed against the walls of the bladder or vagina during labor, it cuts off the blood supply to the area. In especially prolonged periods of labor, this lack of blood supply starves the tissue, killing it, and leaving holes. This, in turn, causes leakage of both urine and feces through the vagina. The effects of it go beyond discomfort. The labor itself can be grueling – according to the Fistula Foundation, 75% of the women afflicted have endured labor of three days or more. Miscarriages often happen, adding emotional tragedy at the outset. After childbirth, many women are shunned for the odor caused by incontinence, abandoned by their husbands and forced out of their homes. Highlighting the tragedy of each case, The New York Times ran a piece on Mahabouba Mohammed, an Ethiopian woman who was raped at age 13. After …

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Leaders in Training in Lesotho

Written By Stephanie Vizi, Help Lesotho Intern Thirty days of intensive leadership training, plus 58 young adults from rural villages, equals radical change, healing and growth and a new generation of leaders in Lesotho. Leaders in Training (LIT) is a program for youth to learn leadership skills, life skills, HIV prevention, sexual reproductive health education, and gender equity training. Youth are recruited from villages through the support of local chiefs and councilors annually for this life-altering program. The post-secondary educated, yet unemployed participants go through an application and interview process prior to the training to teach job professionalism. This year’s training began on a sunny summer morning, participants dressed in their finest – to exhibit their professionalism of course – anticipatory excitement hanging in the air. Little did the 24 young men and 34 young women know Help Lesotho staff were about to turn their worlds upside down. Ten years ago, Help Lesotho founder, Peg Herbert, set out to change a nation through developing a mass force of young leaders trained in the tenets of …

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Why I Breastfed a Stranger’s Baby

Originally published on Huffington Post I was at the New York passport office in the West Village with my 7-month-old baby boy, picking up my brand new American passport after having become a citizen through naturalization. While in the waiting area, I heard a infant baby’s cry coming from the hall — you know, that heartbreaking wail that brand new babies have, that cry that makes you want to do anything and everything to help them, because they are so tiny, so new, so fragile. I watched my 7-month-old, feeling for the parents of the baby whose cries echoed from the hallway — until the cries got lost in the chatter and other noises of the space. After I received my passport, I headed to the restroom. As I entered, I found a shaken mother with her tiny, crying baby in the bathroom. The baby was on the changing table wailing and rooting, the mom sitting on a chair holding her hand on the baby, crying helplessly. People walked in and out, staring but not …

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Interview: Elena Vanishing

Seventeen-year-old Elena is vanishing. Every day means renewed determination, so every day means fewer calories. This is the story of a girl whose armor against anxiety becomes artillery against herself as she battles on both sides of a lose-lose war in a struggle with anorexia. Told entirely from Elena’s perspective over a five-year period and cowritten with her mother, award-winning author Clare B. Dunkle, Elena’s memoir is a fascinating and intimate look at a deadly disease, and a must read for anyone who knows someone suffering from an eating disorder. In an interview style format, I had the opportunity to chat with Elena about her story and published memoir. Question 1: The way you describe it, anorexia nervosa doesn’t seem to be all about ‘being skinny’ but rather, on a deeper level, it’s more of an issue of needing to feel in control at all times, extending far beyond just the person’s relationship with food. Do you think this is a correct assessment?  That’s a very good way of describing a lot of the motivation driving many …

Refugee camps must be safe places for South Sudanese girls and young women
Photo Credit: Ashley Lackovich-Van Gorp

Disappearing into the Night

Within the South Sudan, nearly half of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are married. Human Right Watch’s report, This Old Man Can Feed Us, You Will Marry Him, details the devastating impact of child marriage in the world’s youngest country. As in much of the world, typically when a girl in the South Sudan marries she withdraws from school, and her lack of education makes her economically dependent on her new husband. She goes to live with him, and so the husband begins to raise his own wife. The new bride likely loses access to social and health resources, lives isolated from her peers and faces risk of marital rape and domestic violence. According to WHO, if she becomes pregnant her life is at risk, as pregnancy and childbirth remain the leading cause of death for adolescent girls in lower income countries. On May 5th of this year, the South Sudan ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, positioning itself to curtail child marriage within its borders.  Yet many …

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Renewed Vision for Lesotho’s Forgotten Caregivers

By Stephanie Vizi, Help Lesotho Intern Forty-one grandparents have restored vision thanks to free cataract surgery in Lesotho. With over 300,000 children left orphaned by AIDS in Lesotho, grandmothers have filled the role of parents and guardians and are essential to the survival of the tiny mountain kingdom’s next generation of young people. Help Lesotho’s Grandmother Support Program provides relief and support to grandmothers and their partners to build hope and resilience while strengthening their families and improving the lives of the vulnerable children and orphans in their care. Beneficiaries from Help Lesotho’s Grandmother Support Program traveled to Maluti Adventist Hospital in Mapoteng, Lesotho from rural villages to receive pro bono cataract surgery funded by individual Canadian donors and HelpAge International. From Cataract to Crystal Clear At Maluti Adventist hospital, surgery begins with a prayer under the care of Dr. Carlos Gutierrez, a medical missionary from Texas, U.S.A, who explained a cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. Cataracts are the most common cause of …