Freedom From Fistula | obstetric fistula caused by obstructed childbirth

Patient Stories: Marie


Sixteen year-old Marie first came to Aberdeen Women’s Centre (AWC) after hearing about our Maternity Unit from a concerned neighbor and former patient. Marie had been raped while trading baked goods on the street and was now pregnant. She had been kicked out of her Aunt and Uncle’s home in Tengbehtown, in the western part of Freetown, and was now staying with a friend in her community.

Marie was booked by our Maternity team on arrival at the AWC gates and soon joined the Dream Girls Program where she learned about sexual and reproductive health, how to sew and tailor clothes, and how to process trauma and cope with stress. Marie was a permanent fixture in class and was always seen smiling and laughing. Despite this, during counseling sessions she would always explain how stressed she felt due to lack of encouragement and support outside of AWC.

AWC Programs staff knew that Marie was determined to make a life for herself and her baby, so they recommended her for the Vocational Training “Hostel Girls” Program. Marie is currently staying at the AWC Hostel and is learning catering, hospitality, beadwork, and hygiene management. Her favorite part about being apart of the Hostel Girls Program is learning and living with the fourteen other young women in the program. Marie feels like she has gained fourteen sisters and friends, and finally feels secure.

"I thank the Aberdeen Women Centre for their support in helping me build my future and feel proud to be among my age mates and testify what I have learnt during my stay at the Hostel.”