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Fistula Foundation

It’s Mother’s Day Around The World

By Isabel Kallman

Fistula Foundation

This year will be my eighth year celebrating Mother’s Day as a recipient and I have to say that I still have not fully embraced it like I have my birthday, for example. In the past I have been focused instead on the giving end of the spectrum, that is, celebrating my own mom and wishing the other moms in my life a great day.

This year, is no different. Again, I’m going to focus my attention on others. This year, it’s the mothers of the world. Yesterday, I highlighted Mothers2Mothers. Today, I thought I would bring to you information about some more wonderful organizations that help women (particularly moms) and show you what I’ll be thinking about and doing in the days leading up to Mother’s Day.

Every Mother Counts
I learned about the Every Mother Counts campaign from Christy Turlington and her gripping documentary No Woman, No Cry which chronicles the stories of women in four different countries (Tanzania, Bangladesh, Guatemala and the US) as they face critical care issues related to their pregnancies and childbirths. Every Mother Counts was co-founded by Turlington as a five-year outreach campaign dedicated to improving maternal health and reducing maternal mortality around the world by raising awareness and driving action.

How can we help? There are many ways listed here. A few include a) hosting a watch party with your mom friends of No Woman, No Cry on May 7 (the night before Mother’s Day) when it premieres on OWN to raise awareness, b) donating your old cellular phone which will help pregnant women in need in the Democratic Republic of Congo, c) support midwife training in Afghanistan (where maternal health rates are at their worst) with a donation.

Women for Women International
I have personally contributed to Women for Women International for a couple of years now. This organization provides international women survivors of war and civil strife with the support and resources necessary to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency. Specifically, they connect individual women donors in the US with recipients in war-torn countries, many of them mothers.

How can you help? This Mother’s Day, honor the mothers in your life by donating in their names through a special Mother’s Day card created by Women for Women. There are five cards to choose from and each one tells the inspiring story of a Women for Women International trainee and mother. Add your special message and send the card via email.

Fistula Foundation
I first heard about fistulas and the debilitating effect on the young women who suffer from them from an Oprah Winfrey episode a few years back. More recently from some consulting work I’ve done with Johnson & Johnson, I’ve learned more about the work of Dr. Catherine Hamlin and the not-for-profit Fistula Foundation. Fistulas are caused by prolonged obstructed labor, leaving a woman with permanent incontinence of urine and/ or feces.

Fistulas are both preventable and treatable and The Fistula’s Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness and funding for fistula treatment and prevention worldwide. Fistulas were largely eliminated in the US and Europe in the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century with improved obstetric care. However, there are approximately 2 million women (mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia) suffering from untreated fistulas worldwide and 100,000 women develop a fistula annually.

What can you do? This Mother’s Day, make a donation in the name of a mother you love. Or, in your own name. Your donation will go towards the training of midwives and also towards fistula treatment surgeries. In short, it will change a mother’s life forever.

Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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