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Leaving no one behind starts with education

“Leaving no one behind starts with education”

UN Secretary General.

The UN Secretary General’s statement this International Day of Education 2022 highlights the life changing importance of education for everyone.

Obstetric fistula can be repaired with a single life changing surgery and each year at our six hospitals we provide surgery to hundreds of women. However, the impact of fistula can be devastating and our help doesn’t stop there.

This year, Hamlin’s rehabilitation programme will support 1,020 disadvantaged women who are survivors of fistula with education and training to enable them to gain independence, new skills and for some, to develop income generating activities for their return home.

Giving women new skills to get their lives back

Fistula can have a devastating impact on a woman’s life. Not only are the patients at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia suffering the devastation of having had a stillbirth and a traumatic injury, in many cases women are then divorced by their husbands, abandoned by their families and even cast out by their communities.

Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration programme provides women with new skills and instils them with a sense of worth and empowerment so they can live independently and, most importantly, with dignity and choices.

Desta Mender: A centre for learning and recovery

As well as providing basic numeracy and literacy classes to all patients across our six fistula hospitals, Hamlin provides specialist residential rehabilitation at Desta Mender (meaning ‘Joy Village’) – a training centre where women who are longer-term fistula patients are provided with a three-month skills training programme and counselling.

Desta Mender has kitchen gardens, an orchard and a dairy farm as well as a café where residents learn hospitality skills and a small business training programme provides women with income generating skills in preparation for their return home. Covid-19 prevention measures are in place at Desta Mender to enable services to continue to be delivered safely.

A committed team of educators

Leading Desta Mender is Hamlin’s inspiring Rehabilitation and Reintegration Manager, Tigist Aman (pictured below, second left). A passionate supporter of empowering women, Tigist is both a teacher, counsellor, and also a qualified social worker with over ten years of experience. She manages a team of teachers, counsellors, social workers, nurses, skills trainers and a chaplain.

Desta Mender Rehabilitation Team
Desta Mender Rehabilitation Team

The work of Tigist and her team is helping women to reclaim their previous lives, armed not only with restored health but with new skills and income-generating opportunities. Women like Aselefech, whose story you can read here, and Medina, who told us:

“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?”


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