Allison Shigo | Executive Director and Founder

Through her travels to Ethiopia working on the Emmy Award winning documentary, A Walk to Beautiful, a film following the lives of five Ethiopian women who have suffered from obstetric fistula, Allison witnessed firsthand the need for an organization that works with the Ethiopian community to ensure all women suffering from obstetric fistula are reintegrated into their communities, receive psychological care, education, support and the means to be productive post-surgery. In 2009, she founded Healing Hands of Joy (HHOJ) a non-profit dedicated to serving the needs of women with obstetric fistula and currently serves as Executive Director. She has spent the last two years working with a team of Ethiopian advisors and staff to develop the HHOJ program and Safe Motherhood Ambassador Training pilot project to transform and improve the lives of former fistula patients. In the US she is working side-by-side with the world's leading fistula related international organizations in an effort to eradicate fistula and galvanize change. In 2011, she was selected to present the outcome and experience of her work with HHOJ at the International Obstetric Fistula Working Group’s annual meeting. Her vision is to see the Safe Motherhood Ambassador Training program change fistula patient’s lives around the world and prevent more women from suffering needlessly.