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On July 14th 2018, 20 new midwives graduated as the eighth class from the Hamlin College of Midwives. Dr Catherine Hamlin joined the students, their families, staff and patients for a day of celebration. After four years of rigorous study, the new Hamlin midwives will go on to provide quality maternal healthcare in regional communities. They will bring new life into the world through safe deliveries and prevent devastating maternal injuries such as obstetric fistula. 

Catherine gave an inspiring speech to the 20 new graduates, speaking about the importance of a midwife. We are pleased to share this excerpt with you, our valued donors, who support the amazing work of Hamlin midwives.

Catherine’s address to the eighth graduating class 

“How fast the time goes! It has been over a decade now since we opened the Midwifery College at Desta Mender, as a twin project with the Rehabilitation Centre. 

Midwifery is one of the oldest and the noblest professions in the medical field. It deals with saving human life – normally saving two lives at a time – the mother and the baby. The nature of the profession, as like many health professions, is to put into practice the knowledge acquired at schools. 

Midwifery is a tender profession, full of courtesy. Midwives support delivering mothers with compassion, a respectful attitude and bountiful care. When my husband, Dr Reginald Hamlin, and I came to Ethiopia we were requested by the government to open a midwifery school, which we did but this was short lived for some managerial reasons. 

The notion of opening the school lived with us till it bore fruit in 2007. The government of Ethiopia was generous enough to provide us a wide plot of land in the South-West of Ethiopia, on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. All the preparations had been made earlier and the school was opened. It aimed at quality midwifery training which tied theory with practice and maximal competence. The graduates are deployed in selected areas in the four big regions of Ethiopia and provide all service packages anticipated by the government. 

I am glad to realise from time to time, that Hamlin is becoming a brand when it comes to quality, fulfilling our wishes. All the preparations are being made to continue Midwifery at the Masters level, which would allow the graduates to be equipped with more knowledge and skills. 

I advise the previous graduates to establish an alumni for sustained sisterhood, to exchange experiences and knowledge. 

I congratulate the eighth class of graduates for this graduation and thank the staff and all contributors to the 10th Anniversary of the College. 

Finally, my deepest gratitude goes to the government of Ethiopia for all the support provided for our organisation, the moral support given and for all the necessary assistance. I, in particular, thank the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency, all Regional Health Bureaux and other stakeholders. 

My sincere thanks to all of our wonderful donors, our International Partners, Board of Trustees and all the staff members of Hamlin Fistula.”

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