Helen Marriott joined Hamlin Fistula UK as CEO in November 2020 having worked with a range of national and international charities. She is passionate about connecting supporters and volunteers with the causes they care about.
Here Helen shares her message for Hamlin Fistula UK supporters this Christmas.
2020 has been a year like no other. Nowhere has been untouched by the global pandemic and our colleagues in Ethiopia have worked tirelessly to continue supporting women with obstetric fistula and other birth injuries across the year.
In March the Hamlin team was also deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of our founder Dr Catherine Hamlin. Catherine passed away peacefully at her home in the grounds of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia where she had lived for 61 years. She was 96 years old.
I am so proud of the results our dedicated team of hero health workers in Ethiopia have achieved this year, honouring Catherine’s legacy, despite the challenges they have faced.
Over the past programme year* teams at Hamlin Fistula’s six hospitals across Ethiopia treated 1,561 women with childbirth injuries, helping them to ultimately get their lives and independence back.
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s rehabilitation centre at Desta Mender has continued to give women with complex fistula injuries a place to heal with physiotherapy and counselling and support to grow with education and training including farming skills. Over the past year, our teams have provided short term rehabilitative education and training to 286 women and supported 188 women to return to their homes following specialised counselling.
Across the past year, the Hamlin College of Midwives welcomed another 25 young students and we were delighted to be able to congratulate the graduating class of 2020. Whilst there was no official graduation ceremony for students this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a socially distanced photo session took place to mark the moment, I am glad to share that the 25 new graduates are now getting ready to return to their home communities and begin new deployments as Midwives.
It is your support that makes this work possible. During the 2019-20 financial year you – our UK supporters – helped us raise an amazing £500,000 for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.
Since joining Hamlin Fistula UK I have had the pleasure of speaking to many of you on the phone and reading the letters that accompany your donations. It is wonderful to hear your reasons for supporting us. Many of you have been doing so for decades and we are so grateful.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you for your continued support, especially during this difficult year.
If you are interested in finding out more about our work or other ways to support us, I would be delighted to hear from you. I can be contacted on email@example.com or by phone on 0121 559 3999.
With best wishes for the festive season and the new year.
* Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s programme year runs from 1 July – 30 June