Terrorist attacks in her home of Mali forced Galissa to find a place of safety in a refugee camp in Burkina Faso, the 5th highest nation in the world for child marriage. She was married at 13 years old and pregnant less than a year later.
She developed her fistula during a prolonged and painful labor that ended with a stillborn baby. Leaking urine and feces uncontrollably, her husband rejected her. The burden of her care fell to her family. Accompanied by her brother, Galissa traveled over 500 miles from Mali to Ghana in search of treatment only to find no answers.
For a Fulani, I would prefer her to die. Not just because she is a shame for the family, but also because all our money has gone trying unsuccessfully to find her some treatment,
With nowhere else to turn, Galissa returned to Burkina Faso and through WFF’s local partner Foundation Rama was introduced to Dr. Itengre and his organization ARENA.
She was provided a fistula repair surgery, which stopped the leaking completely. Galissa began a four-month reintegration program, which fostered her further recovery and taught her income generation activities.