Tough woman from the jungle

Lily Habesha
Posted September 3, 2018 from Ethiopia
Amazing Asnakech
i never saw a strength in a woman like this....
Picture with Asnakech and her friend
Picture with Asnakech and her friend: The lady on my left is the one who wrote the poems for Asnakech (1/1)

Asnakech, is from northern part of Ethiopia. She was married thirty years ago. When she was struggling to deliver her first child, her labor got prolonged and she developed fistula. She was passing urine and fesses, the husband brought her to her parent’s house.

She had a chance of having the first surgery at Hamlin Hospital, but her problem was complicated. She needed more surgeries to get healed. She went back to her village after her first surgery. She was passing urine. Nobody treated her well except her father. She was the first born to her families. All her younger siblings got married and left the family farm.

“When my siblings come to visit my parents, I had to serve them and wash their feet one by one.  Fistula stigmatizes me like this. I washed my younger sibling’s feet for years.” said Asnakech at her informal school graduation.

As I saw her, she is a very bright woman. Recently, she had another surgery and she is completely healed. She wrote a poem for her two doctors who did her surgery thirty years ago (Dr. Hamlin/Australian/she calls him Dad/) and Dr. Fekade /Ethiopian/ who did the last surgery. She was wordless to thank both of them.

“Because of fistula my mother and my brothers and sisters hate me. Now, I’m healed. They were thinking I’ll never be a healthy woman again.” Said Asnakech in the middle of her speech.

May be in the other part of the world, fistula has been a forgotten issue, but a lot of women are suffering from it in Africa and Asia.

Part of the informal education, they take two weeks course about business. Hamlin Rehabilitation Center gives the women seed money when they go back to their villages. When they were asked about the difference between loan and grant and which is better for them, she said:

“I like the loan better than the grant. I work hard to pay the loan back, that makes anybody a hard worker without her knowledge. The grant can make somebody lazy, I’m afraid.”

 She has some sheep, and try few other business. If one of the business fails, she has plan B. She is doing this without any education. Her trainers learned from Asnakech. She can’t read or write, she was saying the poem and her friend was writing it for Asnakech.

Asnakech lives in Gondar. She is an awesome woman who can be a great example to many of us. We complain for not having this and that, but our sisters are suffering from fistula.

I want to ask every woman to support her sister in the other part of the world to end fistula and its stigma NOW.

 

Comments 9

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jlanghus
Sep 07, 2018
Sep 07, 2018

Hi Lily,

What a great story about Asnakech. Surely her family can't hate her? They should've been supportive and compassionate:( So sad. I'm glad she's healed, though, now and going after her dreams. I hope you give us an update on how her business venture(s) go. I hope she learns to read and write soon, too. That's funny that she said a loan is better than a grant. I've heard this quite a few times now. It makes sense. Thanks for sharing...

Lily Habesha
Sep 07, 2018
Sep 07, 2018

Jill,
It supposed to be like you said, but life treated Asnakech the other way round. She supposed to be helped, consoled and taken care of by her families.
Some families are like this, may be. Thank God, she is now fine and self supportive woman.

Thank you,
Lily

jlanghus
Sep 07, 2018
Sep 07, 2018

Hi there lovely:-)

Yes. Definitely. I guess so, but it's so sad:(

Yes. For sure.

Hope you're having a great day!

Tarke Edith
Sep 03, 2018
Sep 03, 2018

Hi LILY
Thank you for sharing this caring story on our forum

Lily Habesha
Sep 07, 2018
Sep 07, 2018

Hello Tarke,
Thank you for your comment.

Lily

Tamarack Verrall
Sep 04, 2018
Sep 04, 2018

Dear Lily,

I am grateful for your and other WorldPulse sisters' description of this horrific medical condition, the lack of medical services, and on top of this the treatment of so many who suffer from it, by their families and communities. It is such critically important work that you are doing. And what a great photo. The more we know from each other, hopefully the stronger we can act in unison globally to insist on access to medical care. It is shameful that as a global community women have been suffering with fistula, when it can be operated on. Such good news too that economic self sufficiency is part of the plan.

With love in sisterhood,
Tam

Lily Habesha
Sep 07, 2018
Sep 07, 2018

Dear Tam,
This is so unfortunate to live with fistula for thirty years while sometimes it can be operated and get healed in thirty minutes.
Lack of information, knowledge or living far away in the jungle where medical supporters are not around makes it worse for the women. Luckily, Asnakech has made it.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

Love,
Lily

Hannah B
Sep 06, 2018
Sep 06, 2018

Hi Lily,
Thank you for sharing this inspiring story!
It is so important to raise awareness about fistula and spread women's stories like this one about Asnakech. If you see her again, you must tell her that her sisters all over the world are thinking of her.
Warmly,
Hannah

Lily Habesha
Sep 07, 2018
Sep 07, 2018

Thank you Hannah.
Hopefully I'll meet Asnakech very soon and will tell her that. How can we forget each other indeed?

You are so generous.

Lily

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