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Christmas Appeal 2022 raises £34,000 to support women in rural Ethiopia

In December 2022 Hamlin Fistula UK took part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2022, the UK’s largest matched-funding campaign, with our appeal The road to new beginnings for women with fistula to support Hamlin’s Patient Identification Programme to find, treat and care for women living with untreated childbirth injuries in rural Ethiopia.

Thanks to the huge generosity of our supporters and match funders, we beat our initial goal and raised an amazing £34,000!

This funding will make a vital difference to Hamlin’s work to prevent and treat childbirth injuries and will help us identify and care for up to 150 women in Southern Ethiopia in the year ahead who are in need of support.

We beat our initial fundraising goal and raised an amazing £19,215 online during the campaign week, which then unlocked a further £14,764 in match funding.

We want to say a special thank you to our five match funders for the appeal – The Reed Foundation, three charitable foundations and St Mary’s Risborough, whose matching funds helped us raise even more for women in Ethiopia.

Changing lives

This year we will now be working to do even more for women in Ethiopia, thanks to the Big Give Christmas Challenge.

Whilst progress has been made in recent years, 70% of women in Ethiopia still give birth without a doctor or nurse present. This can result in devastating childbirth injuries including fistula. Too many women in rural areas are suffering with untreated fistula, not knowing help is available. We are working to change this.

Hamlin’s Patient Identification Programme works to ensure vulnerable women in remote areas of Ethiopia suffering with childbirth injuries are found, treated and cared for.

Donations to our The road to new beginnings for women with fistula appeal were matched, having twice the impact on the work of our Patient Identification Officers like Mohammed, pictured

Hamlin Patient Identification Officers, like Mohammed pictured, identify and transport hundreds of women in remote communities who have been suffering with untreated fistula to their nearest Hamlin hospital each year. Once there they receive life changing treatment and are able to go back to their families and communities as changed women – healthy, happy and full of life.

Sekina was found in her village by a Hamlin Patient Identification Officer and brought for life changing surgery

Women like Sekina, pictured, who when Mohammed found her, had been suffering with her the grief and isolation of her childbirth injury for months.

For months Sekina struggled in pain and was ostracised by her community, as a result of the stigma and lack of information about fistula. Although Sekina’s ordeal was relatively short, its impact was significant: For me, those three months with fistula felt like three long years. I have lived between life and death. Hidden from even my own family members and friends,” Sekina remembered.

Thanks to Hamlin’s Patient Identification outreach programme, Mohammed, came to her village. He was able to counsel Sekina and helped her on her road to a new beginning with life restoring surgery at a Hamlin Hospital.

With her dignity, health and wellbeing restored, Sekina wants to help other women like her who have suffered a fistula injury, by spreading the word of a cure:

“I will become your ambassador for the rest of my life. I would also like to thank those people who support the hospital to do such life-changing work.”

Sekina, patient

Our supporter’s generosity will enable Patient Identification Officers to reach even more women like Sekina – tackling obstetric fistula and saving lives.

Thank you!


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