When Ajayibe was 22, she tried to kill herself after being shunned by her family. Surgery could not repair the hole in her birth canal, but her story helped inspire an American photographer to start a project to benefit women with fistula. Proceeds from the project have enabled Ajayibe to have livestock of her own.
Credit Kristie McLean
Obstetric fistula is a terrible childbirth injury in which a hole is formed between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum during prolonged or obstructed labor. It leads to incontinence and, often, rejection by society. But advocates are helping these Ethiopian women with fistula get medical care and giving them the means to make their own livelihood.
Credit Kristie McLean
Tsega (left) is an engineer volunteering to help women with fistula in Ethiopia. A chance encounter photographer Kristie McLean (right) had with him led her to raise money for a grain mill that benefits the women.
Credit Courtesy Kristie McLean
With proceeds from the grain mill, women have been able to buy their own livestock for income.
In 2010, well-traveled freelance photographer Kristie McLean arrived in Ethiopia, her first trip to the country. She was there to photograph women with an injury that can happen when a baby gets stuck during childbirth: obstetric fistula. It's a condition common in rural Africa and Asia, where women give birth far from hospitals and C-sections aren't readily available.
The Desert Flower Center, created by Somali model Waris Dirie, opened in Berlin in September. The medical center provides victims of female genital cutting with reconstructive surgery, counseling and other treatment.
At a recent sewing class held in Berlin at Mama Afrika, which helps immigrants adjust to life in Germany, most of the African and Middle Eastern students feign ignorance when founder Hadja Kaba asks them about female genital mutilation.
Turning to one young woman wearing a veil she asks, "Have you been cut?"
"Yes," the woman answers, holding up the cloth she is sewing.
Kaba tries again. "No, not the cloth — down there!"
The veiled woman shakes her head and turns back to her fabric.
Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 7:05 am
Lera Boroditsky once did a simple experiment: She asked people to close their eyes and point southeast. A room of distinguished professors in the U.S. pointed in almost every possible direction, whereas 5-year-old Australian aboriginal girls always got it right.
Behaving well in elementary school could reduce smoking in later life. At least, that's what Trillium Community Health Plan hopes, and it's putting money behind the idea.
Danebo Elementary in Eugene, Ore., is one of 50 schools receiving money to teach classes while integrating something called the "Good Behavior Game." Teacher Cami Railey sits at a small table, surrounded by four kids. She's about to teach them the "s" sound and the "a" sound. But first, as she does every day, she goes over the rules.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Happy new year. Today marks the first day that millions of Americans will be covered by insurance under the Affordable Care Act. In a moment, we'll get the latest on the debate around one requirement of the law that most employers provide contraceptive coverage.
But first, some big change went into effect today. To run through them, here's reporter Sarah Varney.
Since October, more than 2 million people have used new exchanges to sign up for private health insurance. We're going to focus now on sign-ups in Mississippi. Jeffrey Hess of Mississippi Public Broadcasting reports that insurers there are working hard to enroll people despite wariness of the law.
Wednesday marks the first day for millions of Americans to be covered by health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. But a lingering controversy over one of the law's required benefits, contraceptive coverage, is still playing out in the courts.