Donating to Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia is different.
Longtime supporter Judi VanDeCappelle said that she likes knowing exactly where her money is going. That's the kind of assurance that a grassroots organization like MWAHFE can offer to its donors.
“It’s one thing to donate money to causes where it’s just out there. You really don’t know how it’s being used or even how much of your money gets used,” Judi said.
But founder Shelley Green, who travels to Ethiopia regularly to monitor MWAHFE projects and meet with partner agencies, offers a special kind of transparency that’s hard to replicate in bigger agencies.
She brings home firsthand accounts of the lives changed through the funding offered by Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia.
“I honestly believe that when I donate money for something specific here, she’s making sure that gets done. I don’t know about other people, but that’s really important to me,” Judi said.
And it’s the surgeries to correct prolapsed uteruses that touched Judi the most.
“There’s a lot of projects within Mothers with a Heart and they’re all worthy. But this one about the surgeries, that hits home to me,” Judi said. “I want to help these women. Every year I try to increase my donation to see how many more surgeries I can pay for.”
Judi has been an incredibly generous donor for several years, always earmarking her giving for surgeries.
The reality for many Ethiopian women suffering from this condition – years of isolation, depression, and significant pain – is hard for Judi to accept.
“I cannot imagine being shunned by your family and society because of these operations that they can’t get. It just really bothers me,” she said.
Many woman hide themselves away from their communities, ashamed of the odour that often accompanies a prolapsed uterus.
An active person by nature, Judi said she feels for these women who are left to manage a painful and debilitating condition, often without any help or support network.
“I’ve had certain periods where I’ve hurt my back or something has happened, and it’s a trial to get back to where I was. To think something could happen to you where you’re just literally put off in a corner and left (alone), I just can’t understand the world, that that could happen,” she said.
She’s committed to funding as many surgeries as possible.
And seeing the smiles - the glowing faces of women who have benefitted from those funds - is a great reward for Judi. She's heard from Shelley about how happy the patients are, even one day after their surgery while still recovering.
“It’s made such a difference in their life," Judi said.