A birthday, a boat and for many, a bright future! Join in our celebration and help make Catherine’s dream a reality.

2017 is off to a wonderful start as Dr Catherine Hamlin celebrates her 93rd birthday on the 24th of January. While this is an amazing milestone in itself – together – we also celebrate an acknowledgment of her achievements, with the unveiling of the ‘Catherine Hamlin’ ferry on Sydney Harbour!

Catherine, who still lives in a small cottage on the grounds of the hospital at Addis Ababa, has dedicated nearly 60 years of her life to a very clear goal – to eradicate the most horrific and preventable childbirth injury, obstetric fistula. Her dream is being realised through Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s holistic approach to healthcare, which focuses on our three key areas of treatment, prevention and rehabilitation (see below).

To help Catherine achieve this goal, you can purchase a gift from Catherine’s birthday wish list. These birthday gifts will raise much needed funds for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia to continue to provide life-changing treatment, rehabilitation and prevention, free of charge to patients. Together we can provide quality maternal healthcare and make obstetric fistula in Ethiopia a thing of the past.

2017 Birthday Appeal landing page


  • There are six Hamlin hospitals established across Ethiopia to treat obstetric fistula injuries. These hospitals also provide a safe birthing facility where former patients can return for a clean, safe caesarean delivery, free of charge.

  • Today, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is fully staffed by over 550 Ethiopians who continue Catherine’s dream of transforming maternal healthcare throughout Ethiopia.

View treatment gifts


  • The Hamlin College of Midwives is a centre of excellence for the training of midwives in Ethiopia. Access to midwives ensures women no longer suffer in obstructed labour and that childbirth injuries can be prevented.

  • Since its inception in 2007, 105 midwives have graduated and in the clinics where Hamlin midwives are now placed, there have been zero new cases of obstetric fistula.

View prevention gifts

2017 Birthday Appeal landing page
2017 Birthday Appeal landing page


  • Desta Mender is our farm and training facility. It is where long-term patients live for a period of time to access the medical care they need whilst gaining independence and learning new skills to support income generation.
  • Beyond the physical scars, restoring the dignity of women who have suffered horrendous humiliation from their obstetric fistula injury is paramount to rehabilitation.

View rehabilitation gifts

The Catherine Hamlin Ferry

We also celebrate an acknowledgment of Catherine’s achievements, with the unveiling of the ‘Catherine Hamlin’ ferry on Sydney Harbour in 2017.

Thousands of supporters cast their vote to recognise her life-changing work, and now, with her name to be immortalised on the Harbour, thousands more will have the opportunity to learn about such a remarkable woman!

2017 Birthday Appeal landing page

93 years old and still an inspiration to us all...

Your gifts represent one way your generosity can help support the life-changing work of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. Your gift will be used where it is most urgently needed. 
Photos by Cameron Bloom, Nigel Brennan, Mary F. Calvert, Amber Hooper, Joni Kabana and Bruce Perry. Photos also sourced from The Hospital by the River ad Dr Catherine Hamlin’s personal collection.