By: Habiba Cooper Diallo
Today, we had our screening of the film A Walk to Beautiful about women living wit fistula in Ethiopia. The event was very well attended with members of the Halifax community including youth, health-practitioners, activists, and schoolteachers. The film was poignant. It really drove home the devastation of fistula.
During the question and answer period, which I loosely facilitated, many audience members expressed how grateful they were that WHOI screened the film because prior they had always heard me speaking about and presenting on fistula but that the affliction really only became real for them once they could make a visual connection to it through the women in the film.
The audience was very engaged in the discussion that followed about maternal health care in Ethiopia and current steps being taken by the government to improve access to vital maternal health services.
I would like to thank everyone who made this possible from the directors at WHOI and our amazing volunteers: Haja, Kadijatu, and Marsha who were instrumental in developing a framework for the event, to the organizations who helped to promote the screening: the African Diaspora Association of the Maritimes (ADAM), the Black Student Advising Centre (BSAC, Dalhousie University), and the Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group (NSPIRG).
Habiba Cooper Diallo
I am a Canadian fistula advocate and blogger, and the founder of the Women’s Health Organization International, WHOI. I have been doing fistula awareness-building in Canada for the past 9 years. My work on fistula has led me to Guinea, Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone. I have been featured in Forbes, the HuffPost, and UNFPA