Hola! My name is Kirsy Munoz, I am a native to the Dominican Republic who has lived in New York City for the latter half of my life.
My mom is my hero. As a single mother of humble means, she raised and educated four kids who today are proud to call her Mami. She left her home and everything she knew behind and emigrate to the United States solely for a chance to provide us a better life. Her daring spirit and amazing courage give me the strength to keep going whenever I need a push. Thanks to her arduous work, I have been privileged enough to have a better life than she did. In the past, Mami has held two full time jobs to ensure that she could provide for my siblings and me enough so that our only worry would be our education.
I am aware that my mom is not the exception. Everyday thousands of mothers take risks and sacrifice for the wellbeing of their children. Some of these mothers, unfortunately, are hindered by giving birth. Such is the case for over 10 million women suffering from Obstetric fistula . Aside from living with the dreadful disease, these women suffer severe social consequences; the constant stench caused by the injury is so repugnant that these victims are rejected by their community, their husbands and even their own families. The shame brought to these women, through no fault of their own, forces them to suffer in silence. This is precisely why so few people have heard of this surprisingly common disease.
With a simple surgery which costs only $250 a woman’s life can be transformed. Once cured, she is able to reintegrate into her community and become a valued member of her society. That is the goal of OperationOF, a four step approach that focuses on empowering women afflicted with this devastating disorder. Firstly, OperationOF reaches out to the silent victims, secondly, they treat them, thirdly, they train them with locally marketable skills, and fourthly, they place them in a women’s economic group that is funded with microcredit. Once cured the positive side-effects to their community and to their children are immeasurable.
A very wise man once said “Be the change you want to see in the world.” With your support You and I can be that change for these women.