Stories of Women Impacting Change

Encouraging Healthy Behaviors

March 09, 2017
Rakesh Dhole and Deanna Boulard


From Poor Housewife to Accomplished Government Health Supervisor

Liberating Human Potential

Rekah Mawi is a resident of the Barwani Tribal district of Madhya Pradesh, India. At an early age, she married a daily wage earner named Anil. Rekha soon realized that her husband was an alcoholic, and his meager daily income coupled with his frequent, compulsive spending on alcohol was not enough to support the family. Rekha was specially concerned for the welfare of their two children. On April 1, 2010, Rekha met with Radha Chouhan, the District Coordinator of RMF India’s...

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An Interview with Serbia Country Director N'Deane Helajzen

March 08, 2017

1. (of a person, action, or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous. “A bold attempt to solve the crisis.”

The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close until 2186. Fortunately, this fate is not set and RMF is working to empower women and girls to #BeBoldForChange.

In light of International Women’s Day, we asked some of our boldest female staff members about their vision for the women of their country.

N’Deane Helajzen is RMF’s Program Director, Serbia, and also supports the coordination of our global programs. She is...

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German foreign aid is at a record high and rising.

Here is how it works.

February 02, 2017

German foreign aid is at a record high and rising. Here is how it works.

Catherine Cheney included part of Dr. Martina Fuchs’ feedback on how Germany is aiding refugees in Part 2 of her article series for Devex: “German foreign aid is at a record high and rising. Here is how it works.” She highlights how the number of refugees seeking shelter in Germany is growing and the social service benefits they will receive while there.

By the end of 2016, more than two-third of refugees coming to Europe find shelter in Germany, and once they are...

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Yusuf Bisiku

Healing Found at Panyadoli Health Centre

December 28, 2016

Yusuf Bisiku

View this story and original report.

Yusuf Bisiku is a three-and-a-half-year-old boy; a refugee living at Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Uganda. Yusuf had symptoms of malaria and he was vomiting. After an investigation by RMF’s laboratory technicians, he was diagnosed with severe malaria and being underweight. He looked like a much younger child. After the diagnosis, Yusuf was immediately put on treatment.

Yusuf’s mother explained that they did not have enough food since fleeing South Sudan. They survived on water and biscuits and some food begged from well-wishers they found along the way....

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Samelle Joseph

A Life-Changing Day

December 19, 2016

Samelle Joseph

Free Surgery Begets a Lifetime of Opportunities

View this story and original report.

Samelle Joseph is a 10-year-old girl who has been living with a very severe form of Blount’s disease, a deformity of the lower limbs that commonly afflicts a specific ethnic group in Haiti. The disease also includes increased weight and specific morphologic features, as well as moderate to severe progressive medial leg bowing and tibial bone changes.

Because of the deformation caused by Blount’s disease, Samelle and children like her face physical disability, discrimination, limited opportunities,...

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Noemi: Case Study

A Specific Financial Need in Peru

December 05, 2016
Magali M. de Pujalt


Hope Through Continued Treatment

View this story, as well as the report, on it’s original page.

7-year-old Noemí is youngest of four siblings, and was born on March 11, 2009 in San Clemente. At two days old, she was taken to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with bronchial pneumonia and had to stay in an incubator for several days.

In 2011, when Noemí was 2 years old, she would try to stand up, but was not able to. Her legs had no strength or stability. Her parents (her father owned a shoe...

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Promoting Girls' Health and Education in Pakistan

An Interview with Dr. Rubina Mumtaz

December 01, 2016
Danielle Etter

For the past two months, I have had the honor of communicating with RMF Pakistan’s Country Director, Dr. Rubina Mumtaz. We have texted, emailed, and Skyped so that she could share her knowledge and expertise regarding RMF’s Menstrual Hygiene Management Project, resulting in the previous two blogs. Over the course of our communications, I have developed such respect and admiration for Dr. Mumtaz. She is intelligent, passionate about her work, and dedicated to see women and girls empowered to their fullest potential.

Finally, we get to hear straight from Dr. Mumtaz as she...

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Questions and Answers

Pakistan Girls' Puberty Book

November 15, 2016
Danielle Etter

All information contained in this blog originates from the 2016 report, “Formative Menstrual Hygiene Management Research: Adolescent Girls in Baluchistan,” by Dr. Zubia Mumtaz, Dr. Marni Sommer, and Afshan Bhatti (RMF Pakistan’s Research Project Manager) and from our interview with RMF Pakistan’s Country Director, Dr. Rubina Mumtaz.

If I could sum up Pakistani girls’ pubertal experience in one word, I would choose “confusion.” This may be true of all countries and cultures, but in Pakistan, where menstruation is only spoken of in hushed tones and fragments, the confusion is pervasive and severe. You...

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Menstrual Hygiene Management and School Retention

Turning Taboo into Normalcy and Shame into Dignity

November 07, 2016
Danielle Etter

Fear and Confusion

A Common Story

“Ah! Oh my god!” A terrified young girl runs out of the bathroom and down the stairs calling out, “Daddy!” when a friend of the family stops her and asks what’s wrong. “I’m hemorrhaging!” she replies out of breath and desperate. Fortunately, the friend of the family is a woman, a woman who calmly explains that the girl has experienced her first period. As the girl’s confusion and fear subsides, the doorbell rings. Upon answering, she finds her best friend, a boy, who innocently suggests that they go swimming....

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A Story from the Field

RMF Making a Difference in Serbia

October 07, 2016

Each Refugee, A Story

A Report from Belgrade

As we look more closely at Real Medicine Foundation’s work with refugees in Serbia, we recognize that each refugee has a story. A past. A special situation. A home that they have left behind. It’s easy to dismiss or generalize, until you remember that each of these refugees is more than a face. They are a neighbor. A friend. A face within a war.

An RMF team member on the ground in Serbia sent a story of one such person.

During a shift we had an...

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