Cutting for Stone Book Review

Cutting for Stone

The NGC staff started the Documentary/Book Club to review resources we utilize in our programs and to find new ways to learn more about global issues. Feel free to email the reviewer (contact info below) if you have any follow-up questions!

Cutting for Stone, set in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, spans the course of a century in the lives of the denizens of Missing Hospital, centered on conjoined (and separated upon birth) twins Shiva and Marion Stone. The twins, sons of two of the hospital’s healthcare providers, grow up in the upheaval of 1960’s Ethiopia, in the midst of military coups and resistance movements. Growing up in the hospital, the boys experience the challenges that come with healthcare in the developing world.

Most importantly for New Global Citizens, one of the primary foci of the novel is the importance and paucity of maternal healthcare services in the developing world. Missing Hospital encounters women with obstructed labor, botched abortions, fetal death, and vaginal fistula. Fistula, or the abnormal connection between two organs or vessels, most often refers to the damage sustained by obstructed labor and forced delivery. When a birth is obstructed, the pressure in the birth canal often causes a tear in the vaginal wall passing through to either the anus or the urethra. This tear, if not repaired, will leak excrement almost constantly, rendering the woman unable to control her bowel or bladder activity.

The novel’s portrayal of rural health, fistula, and cultural challenges surrounding women and health in Ethiopia is accurate without causing the reader to pity the cast of characters. For a great read about one of the most complex Millenium Development Goals, I would highly recommend Cutting for Stone.

Fistula is still one of the leading challenges faced by mothers in many areas of the world. For current information on work being done to ensure safe births, check out the work of Edna Adan at Edna Adan University Hospital in Somaliland (commonly known as Somalia, bordering Ethiopia). If your team is interested in sponsoring a Global Project directly involved in treating fistula and providing high-quality maternal healthcare, check out the work of SEWA Rural.

Lisa Glenn, NGC Director of Programs, reviewed Cutting for Stone. To learn more about her, click here.

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Kirstyn’s Experience on the Tolleson Union High Team 2014

NGC Tolleson Team: educating their community and raising funds for GWWI.

NGC Tolleson Team: educating their community and raising funds for GWWI.

This is the sixth year of the Tolleson NGC team. In the past they have advocated on behalf of organizations such as the Afghan Institute of Learning, A Ban Against Neglect, and the Nirvanavan Foundation. This year the team has chosen to sponsor The Global Women’s Water Initiative. This semester, the team has been hard at work raising funds and awareness on behalf of the organization.

The Global Women’s Water Initiative responds to the struggles and burdens that women in East Africa face related to their water collecting practices. GWWI provides training for these women in order to better their communities. They teach the women water, sanitation, and hygiene skills that greatly benefit their communities as a whole.

The Tolleson NGC team has already held multiple events to raise awareness about the organization and its goals. In the beginning of the semester, the team held an “Awareness Week” in which team members dedicated a week to teaching their peers facts about the pressing issues addressed by GWWI, delegating a different focus for each day. They also solicited donations during this event, raising about $160 total. Another event held by the team recently was a “Documentary Night,” in which the team screened the documentary, “It’s a Girl,” which explores the practice of female infanticide around the world. The team used the relevance of the film to advocate further for the GWWI.

NGC Tolleson Team at their Documentary Night.

NGC Tolleson Team at their Documentary Night.

For the remainder of the semester, the team plans to hold one more large event called “Poetry Night.” The team has hosted this event in the past, usually once per semester. This staple event attracts a large crowd and brings the community together. The purpose of the event is to not only raise funds, but also to educate the community and peers about literacy, education, and the GWWI.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Kirstyn Rowen.

Weddington Middle School, North Carolina

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Weddington Middle School’s NGC Team consists of students in grades 6 to 8. The students worked collectively to educate their school community and raise $684 this past year: $300 for the Mobile Toy Library in India and $384 for House of Hope in Uganda.
Working together to educate about 1000 students and staff members, the team hosted a Jean Day where students and staff paid $1 to $5 to wear jeans on a specified day, created informational posters to hang across campus, brainstormed about global issues and used the school’s broadcast to teach students and staff.
As a form of advocacy, the students created Thank You notes for staff members who donated during Jean Day.
On an International Day, the team hosted a booth inviting classes to stop by, to participate and to learn about global issues, NGC and the team.

Tolleson NGC Uses Indiegogo to raise funds

Video

For an entire month, from February to March, the Tolleson NGC team worked towards developing an awareness video which would educate students and staff and the community about A Ban Against Neglect.

Now, the team is working towards raising $500 via indiegogo to help the young mothers of A Ban Against Neglect in Uganda, Africa.

If you wish to donate and help the team meet its goals, please click here!

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