Seattle – One By One (OBO) and Worldwide Fistula Fund (WFF) will join forces to help more women living with
childbirth injuries such as fistula, a preventable condition that leaves poor women constantly leaking urine or feces . Combining the organizations will be most beneficial to survivors, who will witness program expansion and receive optimized care, said OBO Board Chair Barb Gauld.
“Both OBO and WFF are long-time champions of holistic treatment and prevention of obstetric fistula in Africa,” Gauld said. “It makes perfect sense for us to combine our expertise and passion under one organization dedicated to fighting fistula and other devastating childbirth injuries with our proven methods of care.”
The WFF Board elected new members to its ranks from OBO in February including Gauld, Susan Brown, Drew Arenth, and Dr. Kathleen Davis.
Board members and volunteers from both organizations will be recruited to 10 Board committees encompassing issues such as Policy, Development, Programming, Strategic Planning, and Branding. WFF Executive Director Soja Orlowski will lead operations for the combined organization under WFF, headquartered just outside Chicago.
Dr. Christopher Payne remains WFF Board Chair and Board Officers remain in their current roles.
“WFF has been focused on capacity building – supporting local people in solving complex problems by providing funding, training, and expertise,” Payne said. “We see similar values in One By One. They form deep relationships with their grantees and work together toward solutions. Our shared goals and values are allowing us to orchestrate a smooth transition to one organization.”
A combined WFF will incorporate OBO’s programming in Kenya to its current work in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Niger, and Uganda. The two organizations will officially combine in May.
The United Nations estimates at least one million women worldwide currently suffer from obstetric fistula. A fistula is an immediate result of the trauma from prolonged, obstructed childbirth that is most prevalent in developing countries where access to maternal health care is limited.
The two organizations are excited to continue to employ a holistic approach to treatment and invest in health care capacity building projects for low-resource countries.
Join the combined organization at upcoming events in Chicago on May 17 and in Seattle on May 23 to support women and girls in need.