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Mariama’s Story

Mariama with millet.

No cash? Mariama Amani accepts grain.

“It was the basic business class at Danja Fistula Center that helped me think of collecting millet instead of money for my goods,” she explained to DFC advocates following up with the fistula survivor months after her life-changing surgery.

When she began to sell her hand-made clothing and curtains, Mariama found most villagers didn’t have enough money to purchase her products. She decided to trade for millet and will resell it with a large profit margin during months when it is scarce. Once she sells the millet, she said she plans to invest it — into her business.

Months earlier, Mariama completed Empowerment Training at DFC.

Empowerment Training helps survivors of childbirth injuries recover from the mental and emotional trauma they endured through participation in literacy and vocational training as well as individual and group counseling.

Just 15.6% of Nigerien women 15-24 are literate, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Our training helps them earn an income and regain confidence as they return to communities that once shunned and ridiculed them.

Mariama.Mariama is from Dan Mirke, a village within Eastern Niger. She developed her fistula after two days of prolonged labor. She lost her baby.

Mariama believed the urine leaking from her vagina was just part of the delivery process and would eventually stop. She tried to keep herself clean, but her condition did not improve and she began to smell. Mariama’s husband asked her to return to her parents’ house.

“He never divorced me, but he has never come to my parents’ home to find out how I am faring either,” she revealed.

After months of suffering, Mariama heard about DFC through one of our advocates.

Mariama was shocked to see so many women and girls with the same condition at DFC and even more surprised to hear she would be taught a trade for free! Mariama picked embroidery.

You invested in Mariama with life-changing surgery and Empowerment Training.

This savvy businesswoman plans to build a future for herself, one bag of millet at a time.