I’m generally not a crier. If I do have a bit of a blub it’s usually at a really cute toilet paper advert or when someone gets married. It’s normally the happy stuff that gets me right in the heartstrings and the more I’ve learned about this amazing charity the more I’m finding myself welling up. I’m not using the term ‘amazing’ lightly either. The Australian founder and namesake of the charity – Catherine Hamlin – is now 94 and still performing life changing operations in Ethiopia. The level of dedication and humanity is mind boggling and inspiring…Catherine and her husband Reg went to Ethiopia on a 3 year placement back in 1959 and the influence they have had since then is truly astonishing.
Last week I had the opportunity to take part in a fundraiser for the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia charity. I’ve only just started my little side business and am still trying to grow so at first wasn’t sure if I should take on a non-profit event. It took about 30 seconds of my hostess talking about the charity, the work they do and the amazing founder before I wasn’t only completely on board with the fundraiser but also thinking of other ways to raise awareness and much needed funds. I also had goosebumps and was surprised at the emotional reaction I had when hearing some of the womens’ stories – it made me realise just how much we take for granted and how blessed we are to have the choice to deliver our babies safely, and the support if anything goes wrong. Some of the women that I read about had had long and hard labours and then had to walk miles and miles and ride public transport to get the help needed to recover. I am so thankful to our healthcare system, our amazing midwifes, doctors and nurses, and being able to help others also experience this kind of support feels really, really good.
Here is what the charity is about in a nutshell (taken from the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia Website)
‘Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is an organisation dedicated to restoring the health and dignity of women who have survived horrendous – and preventable – childbirth injuries: obstetric fistulas.’
You might be thinking that non of this sounds particularly happy but take 2 minutes to click on this link and read about Alemtsehay’s story. It’s heartbreaking but so joyous all at the same time. I didn’t even have to read the words in the Amaresh’s story – the photo of her with her child speaks volumes.
My first labour was long and complicated and it’s impossible not to imagine myself in one of these women’s shoes – having the opportunity to support this wonderful charity was not only a chance to help someone in need but also an opportunity for me to say thank you for the blessing of the safe arrival of my children and our access to free, life saving medical care.
If this amazing charity resonates with you too there are lots of ways you can help – make a donation on this link , choose some beautiful Christmas gifts in their store here , follow their Facebook page for updates, host a High Tea for Hamlin or like my inspiring hostess you can even travel to Ethiopia and visit the Hamlin Institute.
And please make time to read one of the amazing stories of human kindness and dedication achieved by the Hamlins’ work and be inspired that you can make a difference.