Since the beginning of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, there has been a movement of generous people who have shared Catherine and Reg’s dream to eradicate fistula. Forever.
From High Teas for Hamlin to sweating it out in fun runs to knitting chickens, some supporters have really gone the extra mile to champion the cause.
In November 2018, Ms Catherine Minifie, a PDHPE Teacher at Wenona School, travelled to Ethiopia on our Hamlin Ethiopian Adventure where she was able to see first-hand the remarkable work being done by the Hamlin team with an insider’s tour of the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia Healthcare Network, including the famous Hospital by the River. She was also able to immerse herself in Ethiopian culture, meeting the ancient Hamer and Karo tribes, and took part in the Great Ethiopian Run – a 10km fun run regarded as one of the best events in Africa. This trip of a lifetime helped strengthen Ms Minifie’s resolve to help women in Ethiopia.
Ms Minifie, a true Hamlin Champion, was able to raise $21,000 before her trip - an incredible achievement!
Senior students at Wenona School generously supported Ms Minifie’s fundraising efforts. After hearing about the plight of Ethiopia’s obstetric fistula sufferers, the students were inspired to act. Volunteering their time and honing their sewing skills, the students were able to make more than 500 colourful scrunchies using fabric that had been kindly donated by the Wenona community. The scrunchies were a huge hit and were sold for $5 to students from Kindergarten to Year 12, engaging the entire school community in the important work of Hamlin. For a gold coin donation, students were then permitted to wear their brightly coloured scrunchies at a ‘Hair Ties for Hamlin’ day held at the school. They also raised extra funds by holding a bake sale and a sausage sizzle.
Altogether, the students helped to raise almost $5000 for the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation (wow!), as well as increasing awareness about the charity's work across the school community.
By educating girls about the work of Dr Catherine Hamlin, Wenona hopes to inspire its students to be courageous and compassionate, and to believe in their own personal capacity to enact positive change.
Thank you girls! We are blown away by your dedication and wonderful generosity. The funds raised by Ms Minifie and the Hair Ties for Hamlin initiative will go towards funding life-changing surgery for fistula patients, Caesarean deliveries for former fistula patients or midwifery training for a local Ethiopian woman so that she can assist women and girls in her community to give birth safely.