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home Publications Success Stories Oliver’s Story

Oliver’s Story

Oliver has a radiant personality.

She’s vivacious, impulsive. Her bright pink wardrobe matches her personality perfectly. A born fashionista, the 18-year-old dreams of being a designer and beautician.

Unfortunately, there was a time when this lively teen was rejected and downcast.

Oliver lost her mother as a baby and was driven to sex work at a tender age in order to survive. When she became pregnant, the father abandoned her and the unborn child. Oliver appealed to both her father and brother for help, but they rejected her, too.

In exchange for room and board, Oliver worked as house help, but was too scared to tell her employers when she began experiencing contractions. Eventually her employers discovered her condition, and she was dumped on the doorstep of a nearby health center. Tragically, the baby suffocated and died in her womb.

Oliver awoke in a different hospital, having been transferred while in a coma for 10 days.

Oliver at Vocational School.She had short-term amnesia, foot-drop, peeling skin, and damage to her rectum and bladder that would leave her leaking urine and feces uncontrollably. Oliver became one of an estimated 140,000 to 200,000 women living with fistula in Uganda. The condition left her incontinent and stinking.

After three failed surgeries over two desperate years, Oliver’s fistula was finally repaired thanks to intervention from our Ugandan partner, TERREWODE.

Your support heals more than just physical trauma for fistula survivors like Oliver!

We’re glad to report that Oliver is thriving! She received cosmetology training and said she enjoys dressing up her customers in all sorts of ways.

I have specialized in hairdressing, which is my childhood dream. My future plans are to become an employer to help other girls and young women faced with my plight.


TERREWODE also healed the rift between Oliver and her brother through counseling. He recently received Oliver into his home and apologized for mistreating her.

A fervent anti-fistula advocate, Oliver has become a powerful voice at TERREWODE. She is passionate about supporting other fistula survivors and promised to volunteer as a counselor and hair-dressing trainer.

Oliver dreams of being a fashion designer and beautician. This vision of empowerment is what she calls the fuel in the engine that keeps her going.