One By One’s largest program to end fistula is called Let’s End Fistula. This program is a full-scale public health intervention program, which aims to prove fistula can end in Western Kenya. Along with working directly with patients and our outreach team, our field program has an important youth component called the Let’s End Fistula Youth Club. We believe young people in Kenya have a very important role to play in fistula patient finding in rural areas as well as in providing prevention messaging and support to their age cohort about vital issues that relate to fistula prevention.
The Let’s End Fistula Youth Club is led by our Kenyan education expert who herself is a teacher, a fistula survivor and a staff member of One By One. This year’s Club has 37 student leaders, approximately half boys and half girls, from 22 schools in 11 districts of Western Kenya. These students go through culturally appropriate and regionally specific education about fistula treatment and prevention.
The Club members are trained in advocacy, leadership and outreach and then they form and lead chapters of the Club at each of their schools with the goals of educating their peer groups and adults about fistula, finding patients, along with providing vital education and peer group support about resisting early marriage, resisting FGM, and the tenets of safe childbirth planning and execution.