Empowering women – 60 years of restorative care

For over 60 years, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has been committed to caring for and empowering women, not only through life-changing fistula repair surgery but also through the restorative Hamlin Model of Care.

The Hamlin healing process

At Desta Mender, Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration centre, patients are provided with nutritious food, clean clothing, hygiene items and a Hamlin blanket, physiotherapy, customised counselling programs, literacy and numeracy classes and vocational training. 

Dr Catherine Hamlin described the process of healing experienced by patients at Desta Mender: “The patients have a social life together. We see them talking and they feel at home, not being ostracised from their society. They’re loved and they feel welcome. So this is where the healing process starts, of the mind, and this is very important.” 

Creating hope and independence

The holistic ethos that underpins all patient care at Hamlin extends to empowering women after they return to their communities. 

In FY23, 226 women enrolled in training and education courses at Desta Mender. 1,727 patients completed numeracy and literacy education and 786 women completed counselling courses. 225 former fistula patients have graduated from the Women’s Empowerment Program. Their new skills have enabled them to return home with hope, choices and independence.

Meseret, a former fistula patient, says: “This blanket serves as a remembrance of my beautiful stay and helps me to recall the day of my cure. They [Hamlin staff] make our bed clean every day, we take shower daily, we get clean pyjamas and blankets, they even make our hair. They are our mothers who let us stay fully served.” 

Learn more about the Hamlin Model of Care.

More News