Tonight I attended a ‘Dining4Dignity’ event organised by a group of young Somali Australian women. These entrepreneurial minds are embarking upon a mission to provide medical relief to women enduring Fistula in Somalia.

This debilitating condition affects women post-delivery, causing physical as well as mental harm. Sadly, the after affects of this condition result in the trauma of social ostracism which impacts their emotional well being. If left untreated, Fistula is irreparable. Almost 95% of babies die at birth when women experience Fistula, which is is yet another component of their trauma.

I was so proud to see these young activists take the lead in organising this fundraiser. The high turnout was both testimony to their efforts as well as the obvious support from East African communities to assist those afflicted.

It is only in naming and discussing these conditions that we can shift the needle from ‘taboo’ to ‘treatment’.

I was invited to speak to the value of creating awareness and advocating. To this end, I emphasised that when we invest in women’s health, we invest in a community’s health. Furthermore, I commended the five young women for pioneering an initiative that would see them ‘give back’ to the people of their heritage. This is the duty of those privileged with the resources to make a difference- and the fact that these women realised and actioned this call, is sensational. I was bursting with pride just to meet them.

Follow these pioneers at @vision.projects on IG as they document their journey through Somalia, and donate as you wish to their medical mission.