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At just 22 years old, Victoria lost five babies in five years to miscarriages and stillbirths. If that wasn’t enough, after the traumatic birth of her fifth baby, she suffered from obstetric fistula, which occurs when the baby becomes stuck in the birth canal, tearing a hole and causing incontinence.

This must have been devastating. At the same time Victoria was grieving her fifth child, she had to deal with a debilitating health condition – one that could easily be resolved if she was living in the developed world.

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth…” – Luke 2:14

A woman with fistula can feel her life is over – but you could change everything for her.

Victoria’s special wish was to be healed from fistula and to be welcomed home, to be wanted and cherished by her husband, family and friends…

But because of her incontinence, Victoria smelt. Her husband abandoned her, and then her own father rejected her. This was particularly painful for her. She was unable to return home. She was shunned by other family members, and by her community. Only her mother and grandmother supported her, and thankfully her uncle provided her temporary shelter. 

Forced to live with this unbearable health condition, Victoria became isolated and could not leave the house because she smelt and constantly leaked urine. She suffered abuse, discrimination and self-doubt. Yet one thing kept Victoria going – she knew there was an operation that could reverse this hugely distressing health problem. She never lost her faith in God. She prayed alone at night for God to heal her from fistula.

Many young women like Victoria are waiting to start their lives again. They could do this through you. Please will you send your gift today, which will be matched by a generous group of cbm New Zealand supporters. You will be helping welcome these young women home.

“…I was rejected because of fistula. Even my father rejected me. I was unable to do anything, I just stayed indoors. They told me I smelt too much. They thought I would smell forever. They told me it was witchcraft…”

It is hard to imagine this ever happening in New Zealand, but sadly this situation is commonplace in countries like Tanzania and Nigeria, where fistula still occurs on a regular basis. Most women who develop fistula live in poverty and experience traumatic births without medical help. If left untreated, these young women suffer years of pain, grief and isolation.

But there is a solution. With your help young women like Victoria will receive the vital support they need including surgery, counselling and vocational training to teach them the skills to set up businesses.

Looking to the future, Victoria said, “Once I am healed from fistula, I will be engaging in a small business, like selling tomatoes or selling fish, as there is a market close to my home.”

You will be restoring hope and dignity to sick, heartbroken and rejected women.

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