Dear Friends and Supporters,
To All of our WAFF Followers and Supporters,
Once again, we are greatly humbled by the kindness and generosity so many of you have showed over the past year. Our program continues to positively impact so many lives in Sierra Leone, and we are extremely grateful that this is all made possible with your help.
The year ahead will bring more challenges to be sure, but as you have proved so many times, these challenges are met and exceeded by the compassion of our supporters. Just this month, we received an amazing donation from one of the neatest, most encouraging sources we have encountered to date: a pair of 14 and 16-year-old sisters. These young girls, operating under a non-profit called Pretty Purposeful, show a sense of caring and maturation way beyond their years and are a tremendous inspiration to all of us. I would encourage you to learn more about their story at www.prettypurposeful.org.
One of our own team members, Dr. Susan Hardwick-Smith, is also leading an effort in raising funds and awareness for our program, and we have attached a letter she recently sent, outlining her impressive commitment.
There are obviously many more stories, and no effort – however large or small – goes overlooked or unappreciated. The women of Sierra Leone are so appreciative for each and every one of you, and we feel very blessed to be able to continue to help them with your assistance.
Thank you for your continual support, encouragement and involvement with our organization.
Darius R. Maggi, MD
Here is complete information about Iron Man Fundraiser Dr. Susan Hardwick-Smith is involved in:
Dear Family and Friends,
Most of you know about my involvement with the West Africa Fistula Foundation (WAFF) in Sierra Leone, West Africa. In 2013 I had the opportunity to make three trips to Sierra Leone and was part of a small team that operated on over 50 women and girls (like 15 year old Gitta pictured below) suffering with chronic urine and fecal leakage due to obstetric fistulas. As you know this horrific problem is caused by unattended childbirth and is completely preventable with education and the availability of basic obstetric interventions. This year I plan to make a similar commitment as it has truly the most rewarding experience of my life.
WAFF is a small organization, funded entirely by our friends and private followers as well as the physicians themselves. Donations fund operating expenses including the salaries of 15 full time local staff in Sierra Leone who care for our current patients and admit new ones to our dedicated fistula ward, and our administrative services in the US are all donated. If you have ever wanted to do something to make a difference in the developing world but were not sure how to do it or whom to trust, helping to support some of the most unfortunate women in the world through WAFF is a great opportunity to bring about real change in a cost effective way.
While fundraising is not my passion, I have learned through my own giving the wonderful things that grow from generosity, so I invite you to be a part of this cause knowing the great satisfaction that you will gain from it. To make it fun, I have once again committed to an enormous personal challenge this year and invite you to sponsor me to compete in the Ironman New Zealand race on March 1, 2014. Through my first Ironman race in 2012 I was able to raise over $30,000 for WAFF and plan to exceed that amount this year. Every penny of sponsorship goes directly to WAFF and is carefully used to fund our local operation in Sierra Leone, including the surgery itself as well an average of 12 weeks of housing, nursing care, treatment of active conditions including anemia, malaria and parasitic disease as well as vocational training and nutritional support.
On my last trip to Africa in October 2013 I was joined by my friend and professional photographer Kathi Beasley, who made the short (8 minutes) video below to kick off our fundraising drive for a new hospital which is being designed and built by WAFF. Please take a look at this video to see the work we are doing and please consider sponsoring me to complete this race and help some of the poorest women in the world.
Realm of the Free – West Africa Fistula Foundation and their Good Works for Women
Since the Ironman race covers 140.6 miles including a 2.4 mile open water swim, a 112 bike ride followed by a 26.2 mile marathon, my suggested sponsorship levels this year reflect that magic number! While no donation is too small, sponsorship is suggested at one of the following levels:
Level 1- $70- 50 cents per mile, will pay a registered nurse’s salary for 1 week; or 2 weeks of food, housing and vocational training for a fistula patient
Level 2- $140 – $1 per mile, will pay a registered nurse’s salary for 2 weeks; or 4 weeks of food, housing and vocational training for a fistula patient
Level 3- $560- $4 per mile, will pay a registered nurse’s salary for 2 months; or 4 months of food, housing and vocational training for a fistula patient or patients
Level 4- $1400- $10 per mile, will pay all expenses for a single woman to be cured of her fistula.
Donations may be made directly to WAFF at www.westafricafistulafoundation.org (Please note “IRONMAN” in the comments line) or checks made out to West Africa Fistula Foundation may be delivered directly to me at 2725 Albans, Houston TX 77005.
WAFF is a registered 501 (c) 3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.
Thank you so much for your support, and follow my race progress live beginning on Friday February 28th at noon (Houston time) at http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/coverage/live.aspx#axzz2qtftb8ba
In gratitude, Susan
Dr. Susan Hardwick-Smith
West Africa Fistula Foundation
West Africa Fistula Foundation
3621 Pottsboro Rd #150
Denison TX 75020