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Maternity Health Care Registered Charity Hires New Executive Director to save more lives

WASHINGTON – July 5, 2016

The Edna Adan Hospital Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) registered charity that supports the Edna Adan Maternity and Teaching Hospital, is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Executive Director, Sandeep Bathala, and welcomes her to help further the mission of the hospital and increase its impact on the health and welfare of women and children in Africa.

The Edna Adan Hospital Foundation (EAHF) was established to raise awareness about, and support the work of, the Edna Adan hospital, located in Hargeisa, Somaliland. The Edna Adan University Hospital trains midwives and other medical professionals to improve maternity healthcare in Somaliland and has also pioneered the campaign against the harmful practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Africa.

Bathala will help the foundation reach new partners and supporters to advance the remarkable work that Edna Adan is doing in Africa and for which she has been recognized internationally through the following awards: Legion of Honor from France; Honorary Doctoral Degree from University of Pennsylvania and the same from Clark University as well as from Ahfad Women’s University in the Sudan; President’s Gold Medal from University of Pretoria, South Africa, for her work on Human Rights; Inaugural recipient of the Renfield Award for her work on Global Health, from the University of Pennsylvania; and her name has been added to the Medical Mission Hall of Fame, University of Toledo. Bathala says, “I am delighted to join EAHF and am fully committed to supporting Edna’s work to ensure that women have access to quality health care provided by trained professionals and am happy to join the effort towards the eradication of genital cutting. I am confident that the hospital not only makes a difference in the lives of girls and women treated in real and meaningful ways, but empowers women in general and midwives and nurses in particular”

“The members of the Board of the EAHF are thrilled to have Sandeep join the team given her diverse professional background in the nonprofit sector,” said Rukia Dahir, the founder and chairperson of EAHF.

Prior to this new position, Bathala led the planning, development, and implementation of seminars, workshops, and conferences on maternal and reproductive health for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Inc. She also collaborated with the African Population and Health Research Center in Kenya; Oxfam India; Population Foundation of India; and Centre for Population and Reproductive Health in Nigeria. Prior to joining the Wilson Center, Bathala served as Sierra Club’s Global Population Program Director, where she coordinated study tours to India and Ethiopia and outreach activities to build a base of support for integrated reproductive health programs. She spearheaded advocacy partnerships with family planning agencies in Albania and Mali at Planned Parenthood. She assisted Attie and Goldwater Productions with filming and producing documentaries on female genital cutting, family planning, and maternal health in Mali. Her experience has also been enhanced through work with several women’s organizations.

Bathala holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and women’s studies and a master’s degree in social work, with an administration, planning, and policy focus – both from Rutgers University.

“Our work serves a community that has a dire need for basic health care. With Sandeep at the helm of the foundation, we will provide more women in Somaliland the opportunity to have a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth, and in the elimination the practice of FGM,” said Edna Adan, founder of the Edna Adan University Hospital.

Somaliland and neighboring Somalia have been described as the worst places to be a mother. According to UNICEF, Somaliland has a Maternal Mortality Rate of between 1,000 and 1,400 deaths per 100,000 live births. Mothers who gave birth in Edna’s hospital during the past 14 years faired 75 percent better than the national average.

In addition to her hospital, Edna Adan is a former First Lady and a former Foreign Minister of Somaliland, a peaceful country with a population of 4 million people that is located in the Horn of Africa and borders Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti.

Contact Information:
Sandeep Bathala

Executive Director

The Executive Director is responsible for leading and growing Edna Adan Hospital Foundation’s work and reputation in Women’s Health in Somaliland.


Edna Adan Hospital Foundation (EAHF) seeks a talented, visionary, results-driven Executive Director to lead the overall development of a startup organization based in Washington, DC. The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors and will have overall strategic and operational responsibility with the following goals: staff development, program expansion, and mission execution. The Executive Director must demonstrate a passion for EAHF’s mission and working with others in a leadership role. We’re seeking a leader that can develop strategies that will take our startup organization to the next level. This position offers continuous improvement and growth that uses goal-setting, reflection, and collaboration to cultivate the knowledge, and skills necessary for success.


Management and Leadership:

  • Executive Director will attend official events: fundraising events, new program inaugurations and public relations events; act as a liaison between their organizations and a range of external stakeholders
  • Oversee volunteer recruitment and staff hiring in NY, DC, and Hargeisa and surrounding towns and villages in Somaliland.
  • Track record of effectively leading and regionally and/or nationally scaling a performance- and outcomes-based organization and staff;
  • Must be able to establish and maintain working relations with representatives of the media• Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning

Fundraising, Development and Communications:

  • Overall Campaign management and organization including planning, database management, strategy, task assignments, and maintenance of timelines.
  • Serving as the face of the organization while creating and maintaining strong ties and advocating on behalf of EAHF
  • Developing and executing strategies that ensure sustainable and diverse funding
  • Cultivating new donors and strengthening more donor programs while expanding the donor base
  • Exploring, creating and supporting earned-revenue opportunities
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications with the goal of creating a strong and positive image to the public a stronger brand
  • Oversight for all fundraising and financial performance metrics, activities, staff and deliverables.

Program Development and Oversight:

EAHF is just 3 years old and the role of programmatic development and oversight is crucial for EAHF to meet its mission and strategic goals.

  • Develop a strong and comprehensive training program with defined targeted goals.
  • Ensure programs has effective policies and systems in place to successfully implement EAHF’s mission

Governance and Board Relations:

  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; Work with the Board, and hospital to identify and cultivate new corporate and foundation donors to fund the mission and specific programmatic areas
  • Develop tools and strategies to optimize Board recruitment and engagement and ensure that Board has the necessary tools to achieve strategic goals
  • Responsible for the organization of meetings and must regularly attend all meetings.


  • Proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage work and supervise others
  • Willingness to commit to Foundation’s mission, vision and goals
  • Strong financial acumen & ability to manage budget
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures
  • Strong written and oral communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
  • Develop and implement annual reports, multi-year year operational and strategic
  • Begin to build partnerships in new markets, establishing relationships with the funders, and political and community leaders
  • Coordinate grant needs and deadlines


  • Graduate degree preferred; 7-10+ year experience senior management experience in nonprofit sector, international health or related field required.
  • Strategic thinking, creativity and decision-making ability; Problem solving skills, and political judgment
  • Issues working on healthcare in Africa, experience in Somaliland added plus
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, manage a budget and ability to raise significant funds during directorship.
  • Computer literacy required, and willingness to become comfortable with all MS Suite Programs, Email, Mailchimp, and Salesforce.

Compensation: Please submit salary requirements.

Location: Washington, DC and New York City

Preferred start date: Immediately

Travel required. Domestic and International Travel up to 25%

Duration: Full time, Exempt Employee, 40 hours/week


Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. To apply please send CV and cover letter to Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

About the Edna Adan Hospital Foundation:
As of May 2014, the WHO estimates that 800 women die in childbirth every day, the majority in developing countries. EAHF is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) established in 2013 in honor of Former First Lady of Somalia and Foreign Minister of Somaliland, Dr. Edna Adan Ismail. EAHF works to end preventable child and maternal death in Somaliland and to eradicate the practice of Female Genital Mutilation. EAHF’s mission is to provide all Somaliland women the opportunity for healthy pregnancies and safe childbirths, to provide all infants with the healthy start they deserve, and to eliminate the practice of Female Genital Mutilation. You can learn more:

Stories of Gratitude: Anisa M. Abdillahi







Hear from One of the Midwives that Your Contributions Helped

Anisa AbdillahiAnisa Mohamed Abdillahi, twenty-three years old, is an Edna Adan University Hospital Post-Basic Midwifery student who has already completed the basic midwife training. She is originally from Burco in the Togdheer region, which is Somaliland’s second largest city, located around 180 km, or 111 miles, east of Hargeisa and the hospital. She has already delivered 35 babies, including a set of twins! Although she feels that midwifery can be a difficult profession, she enjoys what she does and relishes the opportunity help mothers minimize risks during pregnancy and childbirth. After she graduates from the Edna Adan University, she intends to stay in Hargeisa for the stronger job market, the opportunity to continue her studies, and most importantly, to help the women and children of Somaliland.

Please help us to train more amazing midwives like Anisa! Any contribution that you can make will help us to train additional midwives and provide everything that a future midwife needs in order to complete her studies at Edna Adan University Hospital.

We cannot fully express our gratitude but hopefully the great strides that the Edna Adan University Hospital is taking to ensure that the women of Somaliland have better health outcomes will be a great testament of our thankfulness

Join us in making #GivingTuesday 2015 the most generous day of the year!


Graduate Ceremony for 40 Community Midwives

On June 11, Edna Adan presided over a ceremony to present “midwife kits” to 40 recent graduates of the Community Midwife program. The midwife kits were generously donated by Direct Relief, a USA nonprofit organization. The kits contained infant and adult resuscitation sets, blood pressure cuff, various scissors and other instruments, kidney dishes, a baby scale and numerous other items. The kits are particularly crucial to the many midwives who are posted to remote regions of Somaliland and have no access to these items.  Edna is aiming to train 1000 midwives.

The ceremony was held at the Red Sea Cultural Center and was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Health and UNFPA.

We would like to share some of our photos from the ceremony:


Eradicating FGM one midwife at a time

 9 April 2015
Author: Talitha Dowds for UNFPA
Eradicating FGM one midwife at a time
Edna Adan visits a maternal and child health center during a community outreach activity in Gumburaha. © Arthur Nazaryan/Delphin Films

HARGEISA – It was 9 p.m. when a little girl arrived in critical condition at the maternity teaching hospital in Hargeisa. She had been bleeding all day after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) that morning. “When she is brought to us, she is almost dead,” recalled Edna Adan Ismail, the founder of the hospital and a pioneer in the effort to eradicate FGM.

“How could you do this?” Ms. Adan remembers asking the girl’s family. The mother replied, simply, “We wanted to purify her.”

In 2002, after working for the United Nations and World Health Organization for over 15 years, Ms. Adan, a nurse and midwife, opened the Edna Adan Maternity and Teaching Hospital in Hargeisa. Since 2006, the hospital has worked with UNFPA to develop and implement a midwifery curriculum. At Ms. Adan’s own insistence, no midwife or other health personnel can enrol in the training programme without first agreeing to work towards ending FGM.

Ms. Adan meets a village midwife and a midwife who was trained at the Edna Adan Hospital. © Arthur Nazaryan/Delphin Films

“I insist that if you are going to be a health worker and you are going to be a midwife or a pharmacist or a lab technician or any other health professional who is trained in my hospital, then you need to commit to me that you are going to fight FGM,” she said.

Medical complications common

FGM, a practice that involves altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons, can cause chronic pain, infections, increased risk of HIV transmission, birth complications, infertility, and even death. It is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women, yet 98 per cent of women aged 15-49 in Somalia have undergone some form of the practice. While rates of FGM appear to be declining, Ms. Adan says, it is still “far from [where] I would like it to be.”

Her hospital confronts the effects and complications of FGM on a daily basis. Cases have included girls who are haemorrhaging or unable to pass urine because of their stitches. Often, the girls have been cut hours or sometimes days before being brought to the hospital. In the most severe cases, not enough skin remains to allow health workers to suture the wound.

Women at the Edna Adan Hospital in Hargeisa. © Arthur Nazaryan/Delphin Films

The hospital also sees frequent labour complications stemming from FGM, including prolonged and obstructed labour, foetal distress, and even stillbirth.

Fighting the tradition of FGM “I cannot keep quiet about this because it is prolonging labour. It is delaying the birth of a child. It is causing pain. It is causing an infection that should not be there. It is causing complications in women that women need not be experiencing,” Ms. Adan said.

Ms. Adan instructs her staff to educate community members about the harms of FGM. This includes dispelling common misperceptions about FGM, such as the belief that it is a religious requirement.

“Islam does not require women to be circumcised,” Ms. Adan said. “So we spread this information that it is contrary to the teachings of Islam.”

Even explaining what the practice involves can help change people’s minds, she said. “We teach what happens, because many people do not know what female circumcision entails.”

Ms. Adan also highlighted the need for FGM to be seen as a community issue – one that involves a girl’s entire family, including the men. “In recent years, we have also concentrated on the fathers,” Ms. Adan said, “and we insist the fathers also become involved in the decision whether their daughter is going to be cut or not. The family together, the father and the mother, must protect their child together.”

Midwives on the front lines

UNFPA, jointly with UNICEF, leads the largest global programme to accelerate the abandonment of FGM. The UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C and the UNFPA Midwifery Programme have begun to mobilize midwives to prevent FGM and to care for complications resulting from the practice.

Ms. Adan delivers medical supplies to a village midwife in Gumburaha. © Arthur Nazaryan/Delphin Films

UNFPA has also launched an e-Learning module to teach midwives about the harms of FGM, and to strengthen their ability to serve as champions for change.

As Ms. Adan’s experience has shown, midwives have unique knowledge about the practices and social dynamics within a community, and they are well-positioned to identify when and where FGM occurs.

They also see its gravest consequences. “When child […who] has been bleeding all day, and has almost a foot in the grave, not because of a disease but because of what another human had done to that child – I think it is the most horrible thing,” said Ms. Adan.

“We thought we were going to lose her,” she added. “But she made it.”

– Talitha Dowds

– See more at:

There is No Place for FGM

Friday, February 6 was International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Over 140 million women and girls alive today have undergone some form of FGM, also known as Female Genital Cutting (FGC). FGM results in many health-related and life threatening complications for the women who are forced to undergo this practice.

UN Panel Discussion-4 (6.2.15)


  • FGM is not a religious obligation or requirement.
  • FGM is primarily concentrated in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, but it is also carried out in Asia and Latin America. The problem is also persistent in Western countries among immigrant populations living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 6,000 girls undergo FGM around the world every day.
  • If current trends continue, about 86 million additional girls worldwide will be subjected to FGM by 2030.

“Each new generation of girls is born with the right to live as a full human being with control over her own body. By irreversibly damaging them in this way, we cripple and stunt their potential, both physically and mentally. And society as a whole is a loser.” —Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director

FGM includes all procedures that alter or injure the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is considered a human rights violation by the United Nations. FGM can cause health complications such as infections, infertility, cysts, difficulty urinating, and complications during childbirth that lead to an increased risk of newborn deaths.

Edna Adan-UN Panel Discussion-1

According to an FGM survey conducted by the Edna Adan University Hospital, over 97 percent of the women who come through their doors have undergone some sort of FGM. These mutilations are performed in unsanitary conditions, with girls sometimes left in isolation for days as they heal. The girls who have this procedure forced on them carry it with them for the rest of their lives.

Dr. Edna Adan has been working to end FGM in Somaliland for decades. The first step in that process was overcoming the strong societal pressure to not discuss FGM. “Of course, like every girl who has been subjected to this, there are complications that remain with a woman throughout her life, as she grows. It continues to live with you. As a well brought up girl, you don’t talk about it. You accept it, you put up with it, everybody has had it done, and you certainly shouldn’t be the one to talk about it. “It stays with you and boils inside of you,” Edna said on a DFID podcast which was released last Thursday.
The reluctance to discuss FGM has made it difficult to combat the procedure. Edna first openly discussed FGM in Somaliland at a women’s health conference in the 1970s. The attendees initially lowered their heads when she brought the topic up.

You are shocked as much as I am shocked, Edna said at the conference. You are embarrassed as much as I am embarrassed to be speaking about it. But we are responsible people who must speak about these things. Do you think we should talk about the difficulty passing urine? Do we need to talk about the difficulty of childbirth?

Now the fight against FGM in Somaliland is focused on changing the minds of men and women. They must be reached so that their daughters and sisters do not have to endure the painful procedure that they were forced to endure, or the lifelong suffering they continue to deal with as a result of this inhumane practice. This includes requiring newly trained midwives to commit to helping to end FGM, involving religious leaders and, most importantly, men in the discussion, and always searching for new ways to confront this issue.

For more information on FGM/FGC in Somaliland, please visit Edna Adan University Hospital.

Market Research Analyst Internship/Volunteer Opportunity

Edna Adan Hospital Foundation (EAHF) is currently seeking a highly motivated and skilled Market Research Analyst to support marketing efforts by collecting and analyzing data and information that is valuable to achieving our strategic communication initiatives.   This position would be ideal for candidates interested in contributing to EAHF’s mission to end preventable child and maternal death in Somaliland and to eradicate the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting. This is a telework position.

Duties and Responsibilities (not limited to the following):

  • Support marketing operations by compiling, formatting and reporting information and materials.
  • Update competitor database by inputting data from field; compiling, consolidating, formatting, and summarizing information, graphs, and presentations.
  • Using statistical software to manage and organize information.
  • Extrapolate and verify information, then evaluate, organize and edit the data into comprehensive standard report forms. Work with team to incorporate strategy into research reports.
  • Monitor the progress of research projects; write detailed reports and present results.
  • Contribute to the design and manage the distribution of surveys and questionnaires.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s  degree required.
  • Minimum of 1-2 year(s) research experience in the field of marketing, communications and/or public relations.
  • Experience in quantitative and/or qualitative research.
  • Analytical skills: need to sort through data and analyze it to find conclusions.
  • Communication skills: ability to  translate data into an understandable document.  Volunteer  will need to write and speak clearly, easily communicating complex ideas.
  • Critical thinking: must look at the numbers, trends, and data and come to new conclusions based on the findings.
  • Attention to detail:  have to make sure they are vigilant in their analysis to come to correct conclusions.
  • Microsoft office skills.
  • Self motivated.
  • Must able be to work independently, as well as with the team.

Commitment Requirement:

  • Minimum 3 months
  • 8-10 hours per week.

Please send CV and cover letter to  Please send materials by January 30, 2015. EHAF is a 501(c)(3) public charity located in Washington, DC.

Update: Post-Basic Midwifery Exams

An Update from Thomas Kraemer at the Edna Adan University Hospital

Fifty prospective Post-Basic Midwives sat for the written portion of the qualifying examination on Sunday. Monday, the students underwent the clinical portion of the exam (the evaluation process consists of a written examination and a clinical examination, each worth 40% of the total grade, and an interview making up the final 20%). The curriculum is approved by the Somaliland Ministry of Health, which also sends a representative to assist with the administration of the examination. Those who pass will become registered midwives and will be eligible to continue on and earn their Bachelor of Science in Midwifery degrees from Edna Adan University.

Edna exam

Edna looks on during the clinical examination.

The Post-Basic Midwifery course is funded through a grant from the Edna Adan Hospital Foundation. As a prerequisite to acceptance into the program, each of the women must have already completed a three-year general nursing course and passed the examination to become a registered nurse. The participants then have nine months of training focused specifically on midwifery skills.

The Post-Basic Midwifery curriculum is a combination of theoretical (classroom) study and practical training. To complete the course, each student must assist in a minimum of 50 deliveries. At least the first 25 births must take place at Edna Hospital under the supervision of the program instructors. Once the instructors are satisfied with their students’ progress, the students will rotate through the country’s Hargeisa Group Hospital, the country’s main public hospital, and four Maternal and Child Health centers in Hargeisa.

After completing their practical training, students who pass the qualifying examination will be certified as registered midwives and will be eligible for government employment. However, the majority of the students will likely remain for another nine months of study to earn their Bachelor of Science in Midwifery degrees before entering the workforce.

Student with  mannequin

A student uses a mannequin during her clinical examination.

The clinical examination took place in a large classroom that had been converted into a hospital room, complete with patient beds, scales, IV stands, hazardous waste disposal bins and patient charts. A large table was laid out like a hospital storeroom, stocked with everything from rubber gloves, blood pressure cuffs and bandages, to medications, syringes and suture kits.

Students entered the room individually and were assigned to two examiners. There were 52 possible situations that each student might be asked to handle; these situations were assigned randomly and the students were required to orally explain the proper treatment while demonstrating the requisite skills on a mannequin or role-playing with one of the examiners.

The potential situations varied greatly and students had only one chance; they had to be ready for anything. Some of the scenarios posited were general:

A 28-week pregnant woman has presented at the antenatal clinic. Identify what steps you would follow in her case. What health education would you give her?

Other scenarios were much more specific:

A neonate was brought back for admission 9 days after delivery with umbilical sepsis. What are the signs/symptoms and management of umbilical sepsis?

The doctor ordered “Give gentamycin injection 60 mg, IM Stat.” On hand, you have an ampoule labeled “Gentamycin 80mg/2ml.” How many ml will you give?

The students were graded not only on correct procedure, but also on how they went about their business—interacting with the patient, explaining what she was doing and why, calmly gathering everything she needed before beginning, and properly cleaning up afterward. It appeared that most of the students were able to carry out their assignments efficiently and confidently, and the women are well on their way to becoming qualified midwives.

This is the fourth group of Post-Basic Midwives that have been trained under Edna’s watchful eye. The course coordinator, Ayan Abdi Hussein, was among the first group of Post-Basic Midwives to graduate and has remained at the hospital to help the midwifery training programs flourish.

Learn more about Edna’s effort to train 1000 Midwives: Community Midwives: Improving Maternal and Child Health

Access to Maternal Healthcare in the Horn of Africa

Today is Universal Health Coverage Day, a day to advocate for universal health coverage to be a cornerstone of the sustainable development agenda and a priority for all nations. Healthcare is a necessity everywhere, but it’s especially important to advocate for healthcare in developing countries. Maternal healthcare can present a lot of difficulties, especially when only one in three women in rural communities in developing countries receives necessary care. According to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Global Strategy for Women and Children’s Health from 2010, 350,000 women die every year during childbirth.  The WHO also said that the planet needs another 3.5 million health workers to improve women and children’s health in the 49 lowest income countries.

The Edna Adan University Hospital specializes in traini1654925_296558233876580_2927809714909950975_o-2-2ng midwives in Somaliland*, using modern medical knowledge and techniques. Currently, most births in the country are aided by a traditional birthing attendant, a person who hasn’t gone through any sort of formal medical training. Births are often in unsanitary conditions, with no recourse if a complication arises. This takes a harsh toll on the mothers of Somaliland, with 1,044 mothers dying per 100,000 live births, which is one of the highest rates in the world.

Additionally, almost all of the following deaths are preventable:

  • 289,000 women and 2.6 million newborns who died during childbirth in 2014.
  • 3 million infants died within the first few months of their lives.
  • A woman who is 100 times more likely to die during childbirth in sub-Saharan Africa than in an industrialized country.

This same case study by the WHO found that 500 midwives educated and deployed in Bangladesh could save 36,000 lives over the course of 30 years. 87 percent of the essential care for women and newborns can be performed by an educated midwife.

The midwives that the hospital trains are disbursed throughout the country after their education is complete. They serve a vital role in Somaliland society, helping to form a protective web across the country so that women in any part of Somaliland can have a trained medical professional on hand for a pregnancy. Midwives can assist in births in rural areas and help to funnel difficult pregnancies back to the hospital. The hospital hopes to train 1,000 midwives to cover the country.  We have currently trained 400.

The other part of providing adequate maternal health care is access to proper supplies. The Edna Hospital has expanded its facilities, including a radiology department which was built this year.  It also uses improvised technological devices, such as an oxygen mask that runs through a water bottle, so that it bubbles when oxygen is flowing. Continued support can help the hospital and the midwives it trains to reach more women and children in need, because everyone, and especially mothers, should have access to affordable healthcare.

* Somaliland is the former British Protectorate which borders between Djibouti and Ethiopia.

This post was featured in Girls’ Globe website

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