August 18, 2017
A talented student
Habtam was born and raised in Debark, a small city in Northern Ethiopia. An outstanding high school student, she was noticed early by our screening team at the Hamlin College of Midwives. While in her final year of high school, Habtam was recruited into the college’s four year Bachelor of Science in Midwifery degree, fully funded by Hamlin supporters.
A new path
Habtam had never previously considered a career in midwifery, but quickly showed her passion and academic prowess. The first year of her degree went really well.
A difficult year
During the second year of her degree, Habtam was involved in a serious car accident. This was a massive challenge for her, both physically and emotionally.
“The bad car accident I faced during my second year study was the biggest challenge of my life so far; I made to withdraw for a year and lag a year behind my batch.” – Habtam
After a year in recovery, Habtam returned to the college. Despite this difficult setback, she continued to study hard. So hard, in fact, that at her recent graduation on July 15 this year she was awarded the ‘Hamlin Medal’ in recognition of achieving the highest marks in her graduating class.
“Thanks to the college staff, especially the Dean Zelalem [for his] unconditional support, I spent two years of recovery and at the same time study hard and finished top.”
During her four-year degree, Habtam was known for her discipline and hard working nature, her friendliness, and her passion to become a fully registered midwife. She attended 67 safe deliveries – 17 more than the Hamlin College of Midwives minimum number of deliveries to attend during training.
Lessons for the future
Habtam has learnt much during her degree, and not just from textbooks:
“When you join Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia in general it is not just the academic study that you learn but it is beyond that, you will also learn humanity and living for others in need. The real life experience of to care for others and to love them is only of Hamlin’s quality.”
“Thank you for my sponsors and the whole Hamlin community for sharpening my future in a right manner”
Habtam will soon be deployed back to a health centre in her home region. Here, she will support the women of her community – delivering their babies safely into the world. If women present with an obstructed labour or other complications, she will refer them to a hospital in time to get help, preventing the occurrence of obstetric fistula.
You can help Dr Catherine Hamlin achieve her dream for a midwife in every village of Ethiopia by supporting young women like Habtam to become midwives.
“The key to a fistula free world lies in preventative measures.” – Dr Catherine Hamlin