Do you want to see what determination looks like?
Check out this amazing shot:
I think of what this woman went through prior to being in that bed:
Days of labor.
The extreme joy in the birth of a live child.
Severe birth injury that wasn’t healing on its own- Fistulas cause urine, and sometimes fecal matter, to leak from the body.
Shame from her community and family- Many women become ostracized and are shunned by the community and left to live outside due to their injuries.
An unknown future- There are still many women who live in this environment of isolation and depression and will never have their fistulas corrected. Some do not know the correction procedure exists, others do not have the money or opportunity to take the journey to one of the clinics.
Hope and determination- This woman spent months living in her condition with the fear of the unknown hanging over her head. She was able to press on with hope there was a solution and life would improve.
Safety- She made the long tedious journey to the gates of Hamlin where she and her child were welcomed in. She will be given the comfort of knowing there is a solution for her problem. In the rare instance that the corrective surgery fails, she will not be left behind, but rather, kept on staff full time so they she gets proper medical treatment and a decent paying job, and, most of all, acceptance.
I love this photo because the shot is less about breastfeeding (which is just a natural daily event in the lives of most mothers in the area), but rather, the courage of this woman, the haunting look in her eyes, is what I noticed first. I can feel the spirit of support of this room, and the sisterhood of loving each other and supporting mothers who deserve the right to gain their dignity back.
For more information please visit Hamlinfistula.org