The Vesico Vaginal Fistulae (VVF) rehabilitation centre in Dambatta, Nigeria was set up just over one year ago with the aim of improving women’s health, education, and economic status. On 11th November 2000 the rehabilitation centre celebrated the graduation of it’s first set of members.
The ceremony was attended by traditional leaders, extension workers, and organisations and state government representatives. Arts and crafts made by the women during their time at the centre were displays and over N200, 000 was raised through donations made by guests.
28 women who enrolled last year have completed the 12 months rehabilitation and all can now read and write. The women have also been given experience of livestock rearing as a means of income generation and will take these skills back to her community. Rabbits and pigeons have been introduced to the project and a pair of each will be given to given to the women to rear in the villages.
Each of the women at the centre have learnt skills on how to establish community development groups in their villages in order to offer what they have learnt at the centre to other women. FORWARD will help these groups to carry out Islamic and literacy classes, income generating activities as well as the formation of small business schemes for sustainability of the projects
In 85% of the cases surgical repair of the fistulae has been successful. . Even those who are not completely restored are socially and economically empowered to return to their communities, use their newly developed trade skills, and lead more contented lives.
During December ten literacy and vocational skills centres will be established in surrounding villages. The centre will also be renovated and prepared for new group of women joining the project who we hope will enjoy similar success.