I was on vacation on May 23rd, ten time zones away from home. I had no idea that the United Nations, after years of discussing and planning, had declared May 23, 2013, as the first-ever International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. Countries around the globe participated. Yes!
Here are the basics about a condition that has pretty much disappeared in the United States, but plagues many impoverished women and teen-age girls in poorer countries. A fistula is essentially an abnormal passageway between two organs in a person’s body or between an organ and the surface of a body. An obstetrical fistula can happen during a very long and difficult childbirth. Tissue in the birth canal is so damaged that it dies, leaving a hole between the canal and the bladder or rectum. This condition results in permanent incontinence of urine, or feces, or both. Often the baby dies as well. Most of the women and girls are shunned by their families or communities because of their foul smell and inability to bear more children. […]
About this time last year, when Blue Thread was nearing publication and this blog was only a few months old, I made a commitment to donate a tenth of my writer’s income for 2012 to organizations that “help girls and women attain education, health, citizenship rights, housing, and the opportunity for a self-supporting livelihood.” I listed several of them on the Pursing Justice page. One of these organizations is Micah House, which I highlighted last March.
I had an opportunity to travel East this past fall and to meet some of the amazing women who have used their stay at Micah House to turn their lives around. After that, the decision was easy. Micah House became gets my 2012 tithe.
Which organization will get my tithe for 2013 income? That’s up to you. Cast your vote for one an organization on the Pursuing Justice page, or tell me about one of your favorites. […]
With thanks to education students at Portland State University, I can now offer you a teaching guide to Blue Thread. The guide is wide-ranging and thorough, with activities that include curriculum-framing questions, writing prompts, lesson plans, bio-poem worksheets, and brainstorming charts. I expect I’ll use some of these activities myself in school visits. Yo, dude, see for yourself. […]