Friday, 23 December 2011

Friday’s Fiver No 4


This weeks fiver goes to Hamlin Fistula UK a UK trust partner for Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia.

From the website:

The Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital was founded by Dr Catherine Hamlin AC and her late husband, Dr Reg Hamlin OBE, and is dedicated to the treatment and care of women who suffer horrendous childbirth injuries, known as obstetric fistula.

Obstetric fistula is caused by prolonged obstructed labour when a woman will spend days in labour without any medical help or pain relief. If she survives this ordeal she will give birth to a still born child and her internal injuries will cause her to be incontinent of urine and sometimes bowel contents as well.

She will spend the rest of her life a destitute outcast unless she can get to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital or one of its outreach centres.

The surgical technique developed by the Hamlins successfully cures 93% of obstetric fistula cases. The Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital has established a purpose–built village called Desta Mender ("Village of Joy") to provide long term care for women whose childbirth injuries are so severe that they cannot return to live a normal Ethiopian village life. At Desta Mender the women are trained in new skills so that eventually they can re–enter Ethiopian society as "citizens of the world" once again.

I first became aware of the plight of these poor, unfortunate, often shunned women through a forum I am member of on Ravelry called Stitches for Sisters. 

Stitches for Sisters is an online community of women based in Australia and NZ, but with members from across the globe. Our aim is to make beautiful handmade creations for women and children in developing nations. We’re passionate about making each item unique and special and we put a lot of care and love into our work.

Our first project as a new group was to make either crochet or knit squares and post them off to the coordinator, who then assembled them into blankets/wraps for the women visiting the hospital in Addis Ababa.  Following surgery which in many cases completely cures the patient, the women are given a new dress and a blanket which they use as a shawl. These blankets are always very colourful and the women do not feel properly dressed without one.

It would be lovely to think that a young Ethiopian woman maybe wearing a blanket with one of my donated squares in.


I would welcome suggestions from anyone, of some future Friday’s Fiver beneficiaries.  Just drop me a message.


  1. I first became aware of this issue when I read (audiobook) Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. Good book and a Great cause.

  2. That's a great choice.

    I would like to nominate The Welfare of Stray Dogs. for a Friday Fiver. This is an organisation in Mumbai, India that works to eradicate rabies and control the street dog population in an humane way by carrying out steralisation programmes.They also carry out an adoption programme. Their website is Deccy x


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