On arrival, patients receive a hand knitted shawl together with their hospital gown and shoes if they arrive barefoot. Some patients arrive on the back of a donkey. Others have walked for many days. These shawls are treasured by the women who keep them for decades. Faithful Australian, British and New Zealand supporters knit most of these shawls.
The idea began in the early 1990s when Dr Hamlin asked one of her loyal supporters in the UK, Jean Hadley, if she knew any knitters who could make something warm for the patients to wear on their shoulders. Jean knitted a 40 x 50 inch shawl and sent it to Catherine and the shawl project began!
PLEASE NOTE CHANGES TO THE NEEDS OF THE HOSPITAL REGARDING HANDMADE SHAWLS AS OF SEPTEMBER 2013.
Our recent mid-year intake saw more than 1000 handmade shawls make their way to Sydney HQ for shipment to Ethiopia. Thank you for all the time and talent that went into making those shawls – we could feel the love in every stitch! Many came with the funds to cover shipping and we really appreciate your generosity. Some came with the most beautiful notes, telling us the background to the shawl. There were mother-daughter teams, Girl Guide troops, many ladies in their 90s and even a couple of blokes. THANK YOU ONE AND ALL!
Together with the 700 shawls shipped from Sydney in March, the hospital now has a significant oversupply of shawls. Hamlin Fistula UK sends about 3000 shawls per year and New Zealand also makes a significant contribution. However, we have approximately 2500 patients per year across our six hospitals in Ethiopia.
Please don’t let that slow your knitting and crocheting down! While we have an oversupply of shawls, we have an undersupply of funding. We would love your support knitting and crocheting items for sale in our Sydney shop and online store to raise much-needed funds for the hospital and midwifery school.
We are working on a list of patterns for cushion covers, throws, tea cosies and hats for those who prefer to work to a pattern and we will publish general size guidelines for our more experienced crafters. We have been thrilled with how popular knitted and crocheted items have been in our shop. See the list on page two to see what certain retail items will raise for the patients in Ethiopia. More details will be published on our website soon.
If you or the groups you coordinate would rather continue with shawls and blankets, we recommend you donate your handmade creations to other organisations for the time being. We suggest your local nursing home, dementia ward or homeless shelter as the most appreciative and needy organisations who would just love to receive your handmade blankets. We also recommend Wrap with Love, an Australian organisation, which distributes knitted blankets to various charities, though they have not contributed to Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia for a number of years.
We will accept shawls again in February at Sydney HQ but will only send a limited number to Ethiopia while the hospital continues to have an oversupply of patient shawls. If you have already started work on a shawl with the intention of sending it to us in February, keep going! Thank you for your support.
On behalf of the brave, beautiful patients and hardworking midwifery students of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, thank you for your continued generous support.
KNITTED AND CROCHETED ITEMS FOR HAMLIN FISTULA ETHIOPIA (AUST)
Finished size 41cm – no filler required
Knitted Cushion Cover- CLICK HERE
Crochet Cushion Cover- Zig Zag- CLICK HERE
Crochet Cushion Cover- Striped- CLICK HERE
Sale price $60
In Ethiopia, $60 pays for a hospital grade blanket
To fit a standard 2 cup pot
Any fibre you like to work with and can afford eg wool, cotton, acrylic
Colours: brighter the better
Sale price $25
Two of these tea cosies ($50) will pay for long-term physiotherapy for one patient
Finished size approx. 40 x 50 inches or as large as 1 x 2 metres
Any fibre you like to work with and can afford eg wool, cotton, acrylic
Colours you think people will like in their homes: neutrals, brights
The classic granny square throw with black or white borders has been very popular
Crochet is very popular for throws and will look great if coordinated with a cushion cover.
Throws made of wool sell for up to $300. Two of these will fund a standard obstetric fistula operation at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.
We are also keen to sell well-made knitted or crocheted hats for adults and children.
CLICK HERE for the ripple blanket pattern.
GETTING THE SHAWL HAUL TO ETHIOPIA
We will be accepting shawls in FEBRUARY and JULY for our biannual shipment to the hospital. Note that we will be sending a limited shipment in February 2014. During these collection months, you can drop your shawls in at our shop in Turramurra at 1396 Pacific Highway, next door to the 711. Stay for a cup of Ethiopian tea or coffee! Alternatively, mail your shawls to PO Box 5066 Turramurra NSW 2074 in February or July. If possible, please include $10 per shawl for shipping costs and be sure to include your contact details so that we can confirm receipt and say thank you. We appreciate any financial contribution that you can make towards the cost of freighting your shawl to the hospital. Please make cheques payable to Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (Australia) and include with your shawl when you mail it to our Sydney HQ. If you cannot afford to make a financial contribution, that’s perfectly OK.
Frequently asked questions:
1. If my shawl is not exactly 40 x 50 inches is it still acceptable?
This size is reasonably flexible and represents the minimum size for a shawl. The absolute maximum size should be 40 x 70 inches. Please do not send Queen size masterpieces! These are too big for the patients to use as a shawl or wrap. Note that square blankets are not ideal and we are not sending baby’s blankets for at least another 12 months.
2. If I can’t contribute to the cost of freighting my shawl to Ethiopia, is that OK?
That is no problem at all. If you can contribute then that is a wonderful thing. If you can’t, we are grateful for the generosity given in your knitting or crochet.
3. When is the best time and where do I deliver my finished shawl to Hamlin HQ?
We have limited storage so we are asking that blankets be sent to our Sydney HQ in February and July only. Our postal address is PO Box 5066 Turramurra NSW 2074. Our physical address is Ground Floor 1396 Pacific Highway, Turramurra. We are next door to the 711.
4. Do you accept quilts?
No. We have a group in QLD making quilts for our midwifery students but we do not accept quilts for the patients.
donating other goods to the hospital:
Note that we do not accept donations of second hand clothes or toys. We cannot accept out of date medical supplies. If you have a specific donation of goods in mind, please contact us first to check whether it is needed by the hospital and appropriate to send by air freight. Ethiopia is a land-locked country so it is not practical to ship goods by sea freight. We are always keen to support the local economy wherever possible, so items such as homecoming dresses for our patients are made locally in Addis Ababa and at our regional centres.
FOLLOW OUR PINTEREST BOARD ESPECIALLY FOR KNITTERS AND CROCHETERS
Click here to visit our Crochet and knitting inspiration Piterest board
LIKE OUR FACE BOOK PAGE ESPECIALLY FOR KNITTERS AND CROCHETERS To Addis with Love is a place to share the love for those who crochet and knit for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia!
A NOTE ON WRAP WITH LOVE
Supporters please note that the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital has received very few blankets from the Australian organisation Wrap with Love (WWL) for a number of years. We will always be grateful for the Wrap with Love team for co-ordinating Australian knitters to make blankets for the less fortunate all over the world. WWL has provided 300,000+ blankets to the needy in numerous countries since 1992.
However, these days Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s size requirements are smaller than Wrap with Love’s to better suit our patients. We require 40 x 50 inches while WWL prefer a single bed size. When our patients go home, they do not have the luxury of a single bed. A shawl is much more useful to them. Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (Australia) ships 700+ shawls from Australia to Ethiopia twice a year.