Christmas Appeal 2022:
The road to new beginnings for women with fistula

When you live a three-hour walk away from the nearest town, in a village with no electricity, accessing health services is not easy. Yet this is the reality for pregnant women in rural Ethiopia.

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.

This Christmas, through our Big Give Christmas Challenge Appeal The road to new beginnings for women with fistula we are now aiming to raise £40,000 to support Hamlin’s Patient Identification Programme to find, treat and care for women in need.

By donating to our work online via the TheBigGive.org.uk before midday on Tuesday 6 December you can help us beat our fundraising target and ensure even more vulnerable women in remote areas of Ethiopia suffering with childbirth injuries are found, treated and cared for.

Amazingly, thanks to generous supporters and five match funders, we have already met our initial goal to raise £30,000! We now want to do even more for women – by raising £40,000 to change even more women’s lives.

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

Hamlin Patient Identification Officers, like Mohammed pictured above, will identify and transport hundreds of women in remote communities who have been suffering with untreated fistula to their nearest Hamlin hospital. 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.

Women like Amina, pictured, who when Hamlin’s Patient Identification Officer Mohammed found her, had been living with her injury for 25 years. A cure seemed like a long-lost dream to Amina. But once she arrived at the Hamlin hospital, her hopes were renewed and she was given life changing reconstructive fistula surgery. She told us: “This is an amazing place. For me, the motherly care and love is restorative. My first surgery was successful and at last I am cured of my incontinence after 25 years. Thank you.”

This year our remarkable Patient Identification Officers are doing vital work searching rural communities to find women with fistula and get them the treatment they need. But they cannot do this without your support.

This Christmas, can you help us find the hidden women of Ethiopia and support them on their journey to a new beginning?

Your generosity will enable our surgeons to treat even more women – helping them on the road to a new beginning.

Visit bit.ly/HiddenWomen between 29 November – 6 December to make a donation.

Thank you to our five match funders for the appeal – The Reed Foundation, three charitable foundations and St Mary’s Risborough, whose matching funds will help us raise even more for women in Ethiopia.