Collaborations for the empowerment of women recovering from obstetric fistula

Last weekend, Kupona’s Executive Director, Abbey, attended the African Diaspora Network’s African Diaspora Investment Symposium (ADIS 2017) in San Jose, CA. This engaging two-day event served as an opportunity for leaders and influencers from Africa and the rest of the world to connect on issues and opportunities that will support the continent’s further development. Abbey was honored and excited to bring Kupona’s perspective to the ‘Women Entrepreneurs in Africa’ panel.

Abbey (far left) presenting at ADIS 2017

Reflecting on the panel, Abbey shared, “When I was given the opportunity to speak about inspiring examples of female entrepreneurship in Africa, I immediately thought of the Mabinti Centre. Established in 2006 by Kupona’s sister organization, CCBRT, Mabinti serves as an integral part of CCBRT’s comprehensive obstetric fistula program. Mabinti focuses on the socio-economic empowerment of women following their clinical treatment for fistula. A case study of effective integrated development, the model leverages the virtuous cycle of health as the key to empowerment, and economic empowerment as the key to continued health.”

The Mabinti Centre empowers 10 new female entrepreneurs every year, training women recovering from the surgery they received at CCBRT Disability Hospital to correct obstetric fistula, a devastating injury caused by complications during childbirth. Every year, 10 women graduate from Mabinti with their self-confidence restored, and return to their communities as active, empowered entrepreneurs and ambassadors for fistula treatment. An additional eight women are employed at Mabinti in the production unit, which has generated over $320,000 in product sales since 2014. The revenue generated through this project supports the continuation of CCBRT’s broader obstetric fistula program, which reaches over 1,000 women annually. 

The images below demonstrate the impact of entrepreneurship far better than words. Looking at these women now, it’s hard to imagine that most of them have faced significant trauma. Many have lost a baby in a traumatic delivery, were abandoned by their husbands and families and deeply stigmatized by their communities. We are proud to support efforts that unlock their potential, and empower them to build a bright future for themselves and their families.

Photo by Sala Lewis

Photo by Sala Lewis

Photo by Sala Lewis

Kupona is very grateful to Almaz Negash, Founder of the African Diaspora Network, for the invitation to share the impact of Kupona and Mabinti at ADIS 2017, and to Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women, for facilitating the ‘Women Entrepreneurs in Africa’ panel. We were honored to be a part of this stimulating, honest discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing the African continent, and we look forward to exploring opportunities for further partnership and collaboration.

To learn more about supporting the the socio-economic empowerment of women at The Mabinti Centre, please contact us at