January 01 2012, category: Clitoraid NEWS
On behalf of our worldwide Clitoraid volunteer team, it is with immense pleasure that I write to you today with extraordinary news: Our Pleasure Hospital, the world’s very first clitoral repair hospital for victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), will open its doors on March 7 in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, West Africa!!! Mrs. Chantal Compaore, First Lady of Burkina Faso and a steadfast voice against FGM, will preside at the inauguration ceremony.
This opening is indeed a historical event. Although prevention campaigns against FGM are common, programs to help victims by surgically reversing the effects are not. Spiritual leader Maitreya Rael thought of the idea of providing free surgical repairs for FGM victims when he visited West Africa in 2003 and heard firsthand, heart-wrenching testimonies from the women there. He vowed to do something to help them and subsequently launched Clitoraid.
Eleven years later, Clitoraid is carrying out this humanitarian dream with your generous support. Without your donations, this wonderful, first-of-its-kind hospital would never have been possible. So we first want to say thank you, for we couldn’t have done it without you! Now the spotlight is turned on Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, and on the thousands of FGM victims impatiently waiting to have their mutilated clitorises repaired so they can be complete women at last. They have even organized a contest to determine who will have the surgery first!
But we still need your help!!
The financial challenge Clitoraid faces is to keep the new hospital running on a daily basis while providing the FGM reversal surgery free of charge to the victims. Although we have applied for grants, time is of the essence. Until we gain the support of a large humanitarian foundation to sponsor medical activity that no other non-profit organization has taken on in Africa to date, your continued generosity during this transition period is critical if we are to meet the goal of $100,000 in essential operational costs for the upcoming year.
Clitoraid’s Burkinabe physician and hospital administrator, Dr. Da Sie Benoit, M.D., is eager to see the new medical facility open its doors and help the women of his community. At the inauguration, he will welcome four American volunteer doctors. Dr. Marci Bowers, M.D., and Dr. Harold Henning Jr., M.D., will perform the innovative clitoral repair procedure developed by a French surgeon. They will be assisted by their anesthesiologist colleagues. During their initial two-week humanitarian mission, the American doctors will also train local physicians to do the surgery.
The opening of this hospital is a breakthrough for women’s health worldwide, which is why the opening date was set as close as possible to International Women’s Day. Clitoraid’s dual mission is to provide the free surgery that can restore sexual pleasure and dignity for millions of FGM victims, and to help end this barbaric practice worldwide, once and for all.
Our patients thank you in advance for your renewed support! In the meantime, here is a video you may enjoy viewing about our Grand Opening announcement: http://youtu.be/CRMCQMW_sCw
Nadine Gary, Clitoraid Communications Director