Allison Shigo received an Emmy Award for her work on A Walk to Beautiful, winner of the International Documentary Association Award for Best Feature Documentary 2007. In 2009, Allison Co-Founded Healing Hands of Joy, a non-profit working in Ethiopia to empower former fistula patients and eliminate fistula. She developed the innovative Safe Motherhood Ambassador Training program to provide reintegration and rehabilitation services to fistula survivors. To date, over 850 fistula survivors have graduated as Safe Motherhood Ambassadors. Healing Hands of Joy is a member of the Ethiopian Fistula Task Force and in partnership with USAID, they have expanded nationwide in Ethiopia.
Healing Hands of Joy works to eliminate obstetric fistula and enable women treated for obstetric fistula to resume full and productive lives within their families and communities after recovering from its sometimes devastating impact. Their work involves restoring women’s self-esteem and physical, psychosocial and economic capacity to engage fully and meaningfully as a family and community member. It also aims to improve maternal health by reducing maternal and neonatal deaths and obstetric fistula by training women treated for fistula to become educators as Safe Motherhood Ambassadors within their communities.