Worldwide Fistula Fund

Healing Women, Restoring Lives

Schaumburg, IL   |  http://worldwidefistulafund.org

Mission

Worldwide Fistula Fund is a nonprofit maternal health organization helping girls and women with childbirth injuries such as obstetric fistula to recover and build new lives. Working with local partners in sub-Saharan Africa, WFF provides girls and women surgical care, rehabilitation, literacy & vocational classes, and trains African doctors in childbirth injury prevention & treatment. We are the oldest organization in the United States serving women and girls with obstetric fistula.

Ruling year info

2003

Executive Director

Soja Orlwoski

Main address

Two Woodfield Lake 1100 E. Woodfield Road, Suite 350

Schaumburg, IL 60173 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

30-0139210

NTEE code info

Health Support Services (E60)

Specifically Named Diseases (G80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

A woman with obstetric fistula leaks urine or feces uncontrollably. Fistula usually occurs after a woman suffers through 2 or more days of obstructed labor. Pressure from the baby kills soft tissue, creating a hole between her vagina and bladder or rectum that leaks uncontrollably. The baby usually dies, and her foul odor leaves her isolated from others. Obstetric fistula is preventable and treatable. There are an estimated 2 million women and girls currently suffering, and nearly 100,000 more women are injured every year. A woman with pelvic organ prolapse may struggle to perform daily activities such as walking or sitting. She develops POP from multiple difficult labors. Over time, muscles supporting her pelvic organs weaken. The organs drop, push against her vagina and sometimes fall out. She is in pain and embarrassed. She may be shunned by others. POP is preventable and treatable with surgery. In 3 regions of Ethiopia alone, it is estimated over 250,000 women suffer from POP.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Danja Fistula Center

In February 2012, WFF opened a new fistula hospital with operational partner SIM, in Danja, Niger. Located in rural southern Niger, the Danja Fistula Center (DFC Niger) offers comprehensive services to women suffering from obstetric fistulas including free surgery, empowerment/reintegration programs and individual recovery plans. Center staff also provide surrounding communities with prevention education, conduct training for medical professionals as well as publish clinical research on obstetric fistula to advance future treatment protocols.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

WFF seeks to prevent childbirth injuries by educating local care providers such as doctors, physical therapists, and nurses. By teaching care providers advanced medical techniques, we are building their capacity to prevent and treat childbirth injuries as well as other maternal health complications.

Population(s) Served
Adults

WFF partners with ARENA to provide life-changing surgeries to women in Burkina Faso. We also partner with Fondation RAMA to provide holistic care and empowerment training.

In 2017, Dr. Itengré Ouédraogo moved back to Burkina Faso and began creating a foundation upon which to build quality services. With Dr. Lewis Wall’s guidance, Dr. Ouédraogo was able to host a one-week fistula camp before the year ended. Despite unforeseen challenges, he provided life-changing surgery to 20 women! Dr. Ouédraogo is now working to refine and develop services and plans to host more fistula camps in 2019.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

In 2018, Seattle-based fistula organization One By One (OBO) joined forces with WFF. The good work started by OBO in Kenya is carried on under the WFF name. Let's End Fistula Phase II focuses on social reintegration and economic empowerment following surgical treatment. A dedicated local leadership team and 28 Regional Representatives recruited 216 survivors to form 12 solidarity groups for mutual support in improving survivors' economic positions.

In 2018, WFF and Let's End Fistula Initiative launched "Safe Motherhood: Preventing Obstetric Fistula" -- a childbirth injury education program. Survivors from our solidarity groups are teaching community members practices that will save lives, prevent injury and improve maternal and newborn outcomes.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

WFF has partnered with TERREWODE, a local organization headquartered in Soroti, Uganda, to treat childbirth injuries for nearly a decade. WFF has helped develop TERREWODE from a regional to a national organization over the years and is excited to soon see TERREWODE achieve a dream as old as our partnership. In 2018, TERREWODE began construction on a dedicated women's hospital that is expected to be fully operational in 2019. The hospital will be the new site for comprehensive childbirth injury prevention, advocacy and treatment programs — all delivered under one roof! In 2017, WFF awarded TERREWODE our largest grant ever: $675,000 over 5 years. WFF’s goal: help triple the number of women receiving treatment through this partnership. Currently, our partnership delivers these services to women through multiple locations.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients who complete job skills training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Women are encouraged to participate in Education and Vocational Skills Training in literacy and health classes, as well as embroidery & sewing courses, handcrafting jewelry, and cooking & catering.

Number of medical professionals and advocates trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In order to help prevent childbirth injuries, WFF provides medical professionals with enhanced training and community members with advocacy training.

Number of life-changing surgeries provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Women receive life-changing surgery that restores their lives. WFF transports survivors to surgery performed by expert fistula surgeons and provides recovery and ongoing support services.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our mission is to protect and restore the health and dignity of the world’s most vulnerable women by preventing and treating devastating childbirth injuries.

1. WFF offers comprehensive services to women suffering from childbirth injuries: life-changing surgery, individualized recovery plans and rehabilitation, literacy education, and vocational training.

2. WFF invests in programs to prevent more women from developing injuries. WFF provides enhanced education to local medical professionals and offers advocacy and awareness training to community members.

3. WFF strategically partners with local leaders and organizations in low-resource countries to increase capacity to address women's health care needs.

In addition to our three strategies above, WFF's capabilities include continuing to diversify our revenue sources through strategic grant seeking, individual donor programs, annual giving campaigns, and major donor cultivation. We continue to expand our Board of Directors as they deepen their commitment to our mission. WFF raises 100% of revenues from private donations and nearly 90% from individuals. Program costs represent 78% of our expenses (2017 Audit).

2012: WFF opens a new fistula hospital, the Danja Fistula Center in Niger with operational partner, SIM

2013: WFF opens the Women's Empowerment Center in Uganda

2013: WFF launchs the Mekelle Medical Education Collaboration (MMEC) at Mekelle University in Ethiopia to train medical students and doctors

2016: WFF launches Ethiopia’s first Urogynecology Fellowship Program in partnership with Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, Mekelle University, and St. Paul’s Millennium Medical School

2017: Holistic services launch in Burkina Faso with free surgery and empowerment training

2017: TERREWODE, WFF's longtime partner in Uganda, awarded $675,000 grant to help triple the number of women treated there

2017: Danja Fistula Center, Niger hosts national fistula camp and called, "best fistula facility in country"

2018: WFF joins forces with fistula organization, One By One, expands to Kenya

2018: Critical care training launches in Ethiopia to support complex surgeries/deliveries

Financials

Worldwide Fistula Fund
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Worldwide Fistula Fund

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Chris Payne

Vista Urology & Stanford University Emeritus Professor

Michael Wittek

Bluff Stone Vineyard

Tracy Spitznagle

Washington University, St. Louis

Nancy Muller

National Association for Continence

Rahel Nardos

Kaiser Permanente NorthWest

Drew Arenth

Macro-Eyes

Susan Brown

Cloudbreak

Kathleen Davis

Retired physician

Melissa Fleming

Lynette Franklin

Emory University

Quinton Friesen

SIM

Barbara Gauld

New Order Knits

Patrick Guilbaud

Winthrop University

Mary Rose Keller

Heron Therapeutics

Lynn Nye

Medical Minds

Holly Richter

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Chris Payne

Vista Urology

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/19/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data