The “Healing Arts”

Heal Africa provides many services for victims of sexual violence. Some need acute treatment for physical trauma, some require surgical intervention for fistulas developing long after the assault and many need emotional or social support.

As a pediatrician, my role in the care of these women was minimal. However, each morning I passed an area of the hospital occupied by women participating in the “Healing Arts” program. These former rape victims were learning sewing skills in order to allow them self-sufficiency once they left the facility. They sat in a room with foot propelled sewing machines and worked magic. I was astonished how they turned a simple piece of cloth into a wonderful dress, a stylish hand bag or a fancy man’s button-up shirt.

Women of Healing Arts


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