Congratulations to the twelve graduates of Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration program! These women, who are all obstetric fistula survivors, have now embarked on a new chapter of their lives as empowered women and new business owners since graduating from the 3-month program late last month.
Mending more than just the physical scars
Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration program is designed to empower fistula survivors to live independent lives once their injuries have healed.
For most women, a simple operation taking around an hour can repair their fistula. But for the women who access the program, the damage of their fistula injury is more extensive. They require multiple complex surgeries, as well as intensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation which they receive at Desta Mender – Hamlin’s training facility.
Desta Mender, meaning ‘Joy Village’, is a place where patients with more complicated injuries receive ongoing treatment, support and training as part of the Hamlin Model of Care to mend both their physical injuries and mental scars.
“My being at Hamlin has changed the course of my whole life. I fully recovered from that devastating injury and now graduated after three months of intensive life skill training at Desta Mender. You transformed my life from the bottom of hopelessness to the height of dreaming a bright future. I am going to start living life to the full.” Gadissie, Graduate of Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration program.
An individual approach to training
The training program that each woman receives is individually tailored and ranges to include farming skills, business management training or child-care qualifications. In some cases, a start-up grant is provided to enable each woman to establish her own business and generate an income.
The Rehabilitation and Reintegration program works by providing the tools these women need to overcome the many barriers they may face post-treatment and reintegrate back into their communities.
Graduating with dignity and choices
Beletshachew Tadesse, Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration Manager, worked closely with each of the 12 women over the course of their three-month program.
She congratulated the graduates at their ceremony adding: “We are not here to teach you how to lead life, I know you have your own unique experience and talent. What we have done in your three months stay at Desta Mender is to share those skills you already acquire amongst each other. Fistula is over now, don’t waste your time on the past. Rather know what you have, feel confident in yourself and work hard to realise your goals. I am sure you will all be successful and I assure you that we will always be with you until we see the success.”
Armed with restored health, income generation skills and opportunities, these graduates are leading lives of independence with dignity and choices.
Congratulations to Abelle, Abinet, Ajette, Almaz, Asnaku, Binalf, Bultu, Gadissie, Gishtu, Meseret, Sinke and Tafet. We wish you every success with your new endeavours.
To help more women go through this life-changing program, please consider donating today at https://hamlin.org.au/empower/