Dr Catherine Hamlin believed that treating an obstetric fistula patient isn’t just treating a hole in the bladder, but rather the whole woman with love and care. In 2002, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia opened Desta Mender, Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration Centre, where long-term fistula patients undergo education classes and learn income-generating skills to support reintegration back into their communities and independent living. This year, Desta Mender has launched a new Women’s Empowerment Program to provide more former fistula patients with the chance to learn at Desta Mender. Training is provided by Holleta College and those women who are in need of income support are selected and invited to return for the three-month residency program to learn vital vocational skills.
With the support of Women’s Hope International, this new initiative empowers women to live with choices and independence - in turn empowering their community and those around them! Under the guidance of skilled instructors, these women acquire life-changing skills that enable them to thrive. The Women’s Empowerment Program provides a range of opportunities, including leadership and communications training, as well as small-business guidance and vocational training.
The first two cohorts of women have completed this groundbreaking program. They have returned home with new skills to positively impact their lives and communities. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is currently preparing for a third group of former patients to participate in the program.
“The team at Hamlin has not only brought me out of darkness, but has provided me with skills and support to make life easier. How can I express my gratitude?” exclaims Medina, patient at Desta Mender.
This exciting new initiative is only possible thanks to the support of generous donors around the world. Thank you for helping to make the launch of this program possible.
Your support has empowered Aselefech to live a life she never thought possible. After receiving successful treatment at Hamlin for her fistula injury a few years ago, Aselefech returned to her community to be reunited with her two children. This year, Hamlin’s rehabilitation and reintegration team contacted Aselefech about participating in the new Women’s Empowerment Program.
During the program, Aselefech was able to develop her pottery skills using more modern techniques taught in the program’s vocational training. She also received business skills training. Armed with this new knowledge and experience, Aselefech returned to her community empowered with a new way of supporting herself and her family - selling pottery goods.
Your continued support will allow us to empower even more women across Ethiopia, just like Aselefech. Every woman deserves to feel empowered and live with independence. Click here to support Hamlin's new Women's Empowerment Program.