Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future

by Kupona Foundation
Play Video
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future
Give Women Recovering from Fistula a Bright Future

Dear friends,

It takes a village - thank you for being part of ours. As we take a moment to reflect after the rush of the holidays and before the demands of a new year begin, we want to say thank you.

Thank you for being an integral part of the Kupona community, our “village.”

Thank you for providing essential, life-changing healthcare to those who need it most in Tanzania.

This December, you helped us raise over $34,000. This means, in 2019 we will be able to:

  • Provide obstetric fistula repair surgeries and holistic rehabilitation to 20 women like Brenda completely free of charge, giving them the opportunity for a brighter future.
  • Train 196 health workers like Ladness to identify newborns with disabilities at birth and refer them for treatment, improving treatment rates and long-term health outcomes.
  • Provide free eye consultations to 600 children like Emmanuel, ensuring that all children have the right to sight.

Your kindness and commitment to making a difference inspire us, and we feel incredibly fortunate to be able to work together with you toward achieving our mission. We wish you and yours all the best for a happy and healthy New Year!

With sincere gratitude,

Abbey, Sami and Claire
The Kupona Foundation team

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Bob (fourth from left) visiting The Mabinti Centre
Bob (fourth from left) visiting The Mabinti Centre

Dear friends,

To all of our partners, donors, and friends, I want to say “thank you” for supporting Kupona Foundation and our Tanzanian partner CCBRT in 2018.

I was a supporter of this work long before I ever joined the Board of Directors. When one of my former clients introduced me to Kupona’s mission, it resonated with me. I originally came to Kupona because of that relationship, but I stayed for the mission.

I stayed because of mothers like Flora, who can now deliver their babies in facilities that are safer, better equipped, and staffed with well-trained medical teams. I stayed because of Kupona and CCBRT’s commitment to finding sustainable, lasting solutions like the new CCBRT Private Clinic. I stayed because of children like Paulo, who are receiving the care they need to walk, see, play, and go to school. I stayed because of the inspiring and dedicated healthcare workers like Dr. Brenda and her team that are saving lives every day in delivery rooms across Dar es Salaam.

I stayed because this work is solving problems and saving lives, not just today, but for generations to come. And I am so glad I did.

On behalf of the Kupona team here in the U.S. and the team at CCBRT, thank you for making this year both life-changing and life-saving. We have just one more day left in 2018. If you have not yet had a chance to give, please do so. By training two maternal healthcare workers to handle complicated deliveries, a gift of just $100 has the power to save lives.

Wishing you and yours all the best in 2019.

Happy New Year!
Robert Schwed 

P.S. This past October, I took my second trip to visit our colleagues at CCBRT, where I was privileged to see the impact of your generosity firsthand. My good friend and the newest Kupona Board member, Betsy Zink, shared her impressions from this trip in this brief blog.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Khadija (right) met the Deputy Minister of Health
Khadija (right) met the Deputy Minister of Health

Dear Friends,

I’m excited to write to you today: your support, and the support of other like minded donors, over the past few weeks has raised over $22,000 to make life changing care available to the people we serve. Together with our partner CCBRT we want to say ‘asante sana’: thank you so much!

With just two weeks left in 2018, we’re reaching out to give you an update on what your generosity means. 

For women like Khadija, your support means a future full of potential, and free from the trauma of obstetric fistula. 

When Khadija went into labor with her first child, the nearby district hospital in Dodoma, Tanzania was not equipped to provide the necessary medical interventions. After hours of intense pain and prolonged, obstructed labor, Khadija’s traumatic delivery left her leaking urine due to an obstetric fistula, and she sadly delivered her baby stillborn.

When the leaking didn’t stop, Khadija returned to her local district hospital, where health workers diagnosed her fistula and referred her to CCBRT. After a long bus ride to Dar es Salaam, Khadija was examined and underwent a successful fistula repair surgery at CCBRT. She made a full recovery, and was offered the opportunity to join the Mabinti Centre’s newest class of trainees.

Three years later, Khadija runs a thriving small business in Dar es Salaam, which she and her husband plan to soon expand by hiring other women, in turn supporting economic opportunities for others.

“In my life I never thought I could stand alone and do many things,” she said. “CCBRT and the Mabinti Centre have really changed my life.”

Accessing obstetric fistula treatment was the critical first step in Khadija’s journey. Your generosity is crucial to providing both life-changing fistula care and empowering skills training to women like Khadija.

If you have already given during this year-end period, THANK YOU. If you who haven’t had a chance to make your gift, it’s not too late. Donations received through GlobalGiving between now and December 31st will be amplified through GlobalGiving’s bonus funding. Your gift has the power to end fistula and change lives.

Thank you for your support. We couldn’t do this without you, and we are so grateful that you have chosen to be part of our community. Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday season.

Warm regards,


Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Betsy (right) visiting The Mabinti Centre
Betsy (right) visiting The Mabinti Centre

A guest post by Betsy Zink, Kupona Board of Directors.

“They say you can’t understand someone’s life until you have walked a mile in their shoes.”

This past October, I was privileged to do just that. As a new member of Kupona Foundation’s Board of Directors, I made my first trip to visit Kupona’s partner in Tanzania, CCBRT. In addition to visiting CCBRT’s campus in Dar es Salaam, I visited CCBRT’s clinic in Moshi to learn more about the community based rehabilitation work happening in that region.

On my first day at CCBRT’s Disability Hospital in Dar, I was struck by the devotion of the medical staff and hospital administration. It was inspiring to hear how they articulated their sense of purpose as healthcare providers. It also was clear to me that Kupona and CCBRT support a critical piece of the Tanzanian healthcare system.

On each of the wards, patients receiving treatments for obstetric fistula, orthopedic conditions, and congenital and visual impairments conveyed the same thing: they had no other means of receiving high quality disability or rehabilitative healthcare, and they rely on the services we provide. A similar sentiment was expressed when I visited CCBRT’s maternal healthcare capacity building sites and met doctors and nurses who are being trained and mentored to provide high quality, life saving maternal healthcare. They are so grateful for the support they are receiving and know that it is improving the entire Tanzanian healthcare system when they can better serve the people who are most in need.

And it was the people most in need that I was now seeking.
As Kupona’s staff had shared with me, we’ve had several partners refer to CCBRT as one of the “best run hospitals in Africa.” Walking through the halls of the clean, organized CCBRT facilities, I understood why. I’d seen patients in this comfortable environment, but wondered, “where are our patients coming from”? Answering that question directed the rest of my personal travel time in Tanzania as I tried to walk in the footsteps - if just for a short while - of those we serve. I plunked myself in a simple lodge outside of Arusha and vowed to “live locally” for the week.

Each day I set off on foot, with minimal shillings and a small backpack, and headed away from the nearest road to a local village. I spoke with shop owners, and women working in the fields. I visited schools, made friends, was invited into homes, tasted local dishes, learned about crops and asked folks about medical care, birth experiences, their families and challenges in their lives. My experiences and photos revealed something I knew all along: women are the heartbeat of Africa.  They are the workers in the home, fields and small businesses. Every time I stopped to take in my surroundings, I saw women hauling water, carrying firewood, harvesting, planting, selling, milking, cooking, washing and child rearing.

When the need to seek medical care means a woman must travel from her home, the ripple effect is destabilizing. Whether she is a woman with obstetric fistula who must seek surgical care, she is a mother experiencing complications in childbirth who requires medical intervention for a safe delivery, or a mother accompanying her child for orthopedic care or eye surgery, her absence is keenly felt by those at home and in her community.

Kupona, through CCBRT, supports affordable, comprehensive care for women and children. From transportation costs, to providing room and board, and throughout treatment, there is a focus on easing the family’s burden. For those needing outpatient care, trained therapists travel to homes to deliver training and patient monitoring, allowing mothers to stay at work and avoid costly travel.

On my last day of travel, I enlisted the help of a local fellow and his pikipiki (motorized scooter) to help get me to the bus stop. As we were driving, a woman suddenly stepped out and waved us down. She asked if I was the Fistula Lady. She had overheard conversations in the village that someone working with CCBRT and Kupona was in town and could help women with fistula, so she came looking for me.

She told me her sister-in-law had experienced terrible symptoms after a difficult labor and had delivered a stillborn child. Her husband, believing her to be ill or cursed, and embarrassed by her physical state, sent their two older children away to his parents, refusing to allow them to see their mother. My new friend was determined to help her desperate sister-in-law and asked for our help. She added that there were many more women in surrounding communities that were living with fistula, and they needed our help too. I thought about that forlorn mother who had been separated from her children after surviving such horrific and preventable trauma. I thought about her heartsick children and misguided husband and the grief that all of them must be feeling. And it was then that I vowed to continue the work Kupona and CCBRT are engaged in.

Keeping women whole, healthy and at the center of Tanzanian life is a worthy goal, and through Kupona’s support of CCBRT and its programs we are doing our part to achieve this goal. I invite you to join us. Email us with questions, visit our impact page to learn more or read our Annual Report.  Every woman, every child and every family deserves to have access to high quality healthcare that is affordable. And when a family or community loses its heartbeat, the ripple effect of that loss touches so many.

Asante sana,

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Photo credit: Sala Lewis
Photo credit: Sala Lewis

Dear Friends,

Women living with obstetric fistula are true heroines. After surviving prolonged and/or obstructed labor – often losing a child and sometimes narrowly escaping death in the process – they live for months or years burdened by chronic incontinence and all that comes with that condition: stigma, misconceptions and isolation. On average, fistula patients at CCBRT have lived with the condition for seven years. Many women don’t realize that they can be “cured” through surgery and rehabilitation. Of those who do, many do not know how to access treatment, or don’t believe they can afford it.

That’s where we come in.

Through our local partner, CCBRT, we provide life-changing, holistic treatment to women with fistula in Tanzania and raise awareness about fistula nationwide. In addition to providing surgery and physical rehabilitation, our expert staff offer health education, counseling, family planning consultations and crafts training. All services – including transportation to and from the hospital, food and accommodation during treatment – are provided completely free of charge.

With your support, we’re ensuring that women living with obstetric fistula have access to quality healthcare and inclusion. Your donation today will be amplified through GlobalGiving’s 2018 Giving Tuesday matching funds campaign.

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, so far this year CCBRT has:

  • Provided 488 fistula surgeries
  • Reached 658 women living with fistula with holistic care services
  • Trained over 200 Community Health Workers and others to become fistula ambassadors, who identify and refer fistula patients for treatment.

Walking through the hospital’s halls, CCBRT COO Brenda Msangi sees the profound impact that our high quality healthcare services have on our patients and their families every day.

As Brenda shares in this video, your support is instrumental, enabling us to provide the comprehensive care our patients need and deserve – but otherwise couldn’t afford.

For women affected by fistula, CCBRT’s services offer physical, emotional and financial relief – as well as hope for the future. Ninety-five percent of our patients in 2018 reported feeling more accepted and supported by their community after their surgery.

For these reasons, Brenda and I are asking you to please join us in giving the gift of health and hope to a woman with obstetric fistula by making a donation today. All donations we receive today, on Giving Tuesday, will help us earn a share of $150,000 in matching funds and bonus prizes from GlobalGiving – meaning that your gift goes further to change lives. Recurring monthly donations up to $200 will be matched at 100%.

Thank you for your incredible support and for being part of the Kupona family – we couldn’t do this without you.

With gratitude,

Executive Director


Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you can recieve an email when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports without donating.

Sign up for updates

Organization Information

Kupona Foundation

Location: Saratoga Springs, NY - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @KuponaFdn
Project Leader:
Susana Oguntoye
Executive Director
Washington , DC - District of Columbia United States
$20,988 raised of $50,000 goal
314 donations
$29,012 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Kupona Foundation has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Get incredible stories, promotions, and matching offers in your inbox

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.