carry me home

 In August 2005 we spent an inspiring week in northern Nigeria, where we visited the FORWARD Center (Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development) in Dambatta and got to know its seventeen present clients - all women who have lived with, or are living with, obstetric fistula.

Obstetric fistula - the formation of a hole between the vagina and the bladder and/or rectum - is a debilitating condition that can result from prolonged obstructed labor. However, deeper exploration reveals that the problem occurs within the framework of larger issues, such as lack of access to effective health care pre- and post-delivery, and limited socio-economic options for women.

FORWARD's founder, Dr. Rahmat Mohammad, stresses that the rehabilitation carried out at this center is psychological and socio-economic as well as physical. Counseling and the acquisition of practical income-generating skills provide the backdrop for a full return to health, in the holistic sense of the term.

Our documentary aims to shed light on the feelings and hopes of the courageous women whom we met, as well as to spotlight the innovative approach adopted by FORWARD in confronting the fistula issue.