“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
- Jeremiah 29:11
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.
But because of her incontinence, Victoria smelt. Her husband abandoned her, and then her own father rejected her. She was shunned by other family members, and by her community. Victoria suffered abuse, discrimination and self-doubt.
Yet one thing kept Victoria going – she never lost her faith in God. She prayed alone at night for God to heal her from fistula.
"...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 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 mothers suffer years of pain, grief and isolation.
But thankfully there is a solution offered through cbm New Zealand.
cbm New Zealand is one of only two charities in New Zealand who support women with obstetric fistula and is currently working in Nigeria, raising awareness and helping young mothers like Victoria receive the urgent support they need including surgery, counselling and vocational training to teach them the skills to set up businesses.
Support for these young mothers is vital as currently for every woman who receives treatment, at least 50 women go without. That is a very confronting number of young women who desperately need help.
You are invited to help support young vulnerable mothers suffering from obstetric fistula. By partnering with cbm New Zealand, you can bring hope to young women who are rejected, isolated, and depressed, especially during this pandemic, where vulnerable woman are even more disadvantaged. While there are many new challenges to our daily routines in lockdown, much of cbm New Zealand’s work overseas is medical, and therefore thankfully cbm is able to continue serving women suffering from obstetric fistula.
Whatever you offer to God through your generous support of cbm New Zealand’s ministry… He will multiply. Once God puts your gift to work, you will help heal young mothers like Victoria so they can lead productive lives and be welcomed back by their family, friends and community. You will be restoring hope and dignity to sick, heartbroken and rejected women.
There are many young mothers waiting right now for help. Please will you help restore their hope and dignity and send a special gift.
Your gift will be a blessing to young mothers like Victoria.
You can send your special gift by clicking DONATE NOW below or by calling the friendly team at cbm New Zealand on 0800 77 22 64.
Thank you for prayerfully considering a special gift to help young mothers in desperate need. Your generosity will provide life-changing surgery for more young mothers like Victoria so they can be welcomed back home.
It’s a struggle to understand how terrible it must have been for Victoria, to lose five babies, and all by the age of 22, and then to suffer from fistula. By partnering with cbm New Zealand you can help restore hope and dignity to vulnerable young mothers, especially at this time as we deal with the effects of COVID-19.