Hamlin’s Rehabilitation & Reintegration Program FY20

“To send women home to experience a normal life, after all they have suffered, is the greatest reward we can have.”

– Dr Catherine Hamlin


Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration centre, Desta Mender, embodies the Hamlin Model of Care, which is grounded in a fundamental respect for women with obstetric fistula injuries and a strong commitment to provide complete and compassionate care. In Financial Year 2019-2020 (FY20), Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration Program continued to provide holistic, patient-centric care for fistula patients.

Hamlin’s team at Desta Mender continues to restore the health and dignity of women who have sustained severe or complex fistula injuries.

During their stay, they receive physical and emotional rehabilitation while accessing ongoing medical care for their injuries. Women also receive a basic education, life skills and vocational training, empowering them to be productive members of their communities when they return home.

At Hamlin’s Desta Mender, Yeshi received something she thought she would never have – an education. Now, she is no longer illiterate and through education courses she learnt bookkeeping and cashier skills. Yeshi went on to set up her own coffee shop, called ‘Courage’.

Yeshi’s regular income enables her to pay for her younger sister and brother to attend high school.

The education provided at Desta Mender enables women to live with dignity and independence. To date, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has helped around 50 past fistula patients start their own business.

(Em)powering through the pandemic

Most of the patients at Desta Mender returned home in March and long-term patients were relocated to Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital for ongoing treatment and care. When restrictions lifted in July, a small number of women re-started rehabilitation and this number will continue to increase throughout the remainder of this year.

Thank you for supporting Hamlin’s Rehabilitation and Reintegration Program in FY20. To read more about Hamlin’s Desta Mender, click here

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