Our Story

How our partnership with a pioneering force in maternal health began

1999

Gender equality and social justice advocate Alice Emasu Seruyange co-founds The Association for Rehabilitation and Re-orientation of Women for Development (TERREWODE),  a grassroots organization that breaks the silence that surrounds obstetric fistula in Uganda. 

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2018

Construction crews break ground on new hospital, with hundreds of community members cheering on — fistula survivors, their families, community leaders, members of Parliament, Terrewode Women’s Fund and other supporting organizations.

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2014

Bonnie Ruder and Sharon Howe co-found Uganda Fistula Fund for TERREWODE (later renamed Terrewode Women’s Fund) to partner with TERREWODE and bring high-quality, holistic fistula treatment to Uganda.

2019

Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital opens, the first hospital of its kind in Uganda, with a 30-bed surgical unit and Reintegration Center enough to care for 600 women per year. 

2000s

TERREWODE develops a groundbreaking holistic model for reintegration — the first of its kind to provide the comprehensive care women need to restart their lives after fistula, including counseling, education, and economic empowerment.  

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2011

Bonnie Ruder travels to Uganda to conduct research with TERREWODE. Frustrated by the inconsistent availability and quality of treatment in the chronically under-resourced government hospitals, Alice Emasu has a vision for a better model of care. She and Bonnie begin to develop a plan for building TERREWODE’s own hospital.

2015

Capital campaign for the hospital begins. Terrewode Women’s Fund plays a leading role in purchasing the 6-acre plot of land in Soroti, Uganda, where the hospital exists today and in helping raise the $1.6 million for the hospital’s construction.

2020

TERREWODE launches new services to address pandemic-related needs: 24/7 ambulance service to transport women in labor and phone counseling for fistula survivors experiencing domestic violence amid COVID-19 lockdowns.

TODAY

Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital is fully functioning, providing world-class surgical treatment for obstetric fistula and childbirth injuries. It is the new gold-standard in holistic, patient-centered fistula treatment. Plans are underway to develop a Maternity Center of Excellence to prevent fistula.

TERREWODE has supported treatment and reintegration services for more than 5,000 women suffering from obstetric fistula.

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