Rotary restoring lives

A horrific – preventable – childbirth injury

During High Tea for Hamlin season, we are always blown away by the support we receive from community groups who host events to raise funds and awareness for the work of Dr Catherine Hamlin and her team.

The Rotary Club of Claremont in Tasmania held a High Tea for Hamlin in May this year. They had an amazing response to the event – selling 120 tickets in just 5 days!

Greg Saunders, President of the Rotary Club, was touched and appalled when he first heard about obstetric fistula. Women all around the world were suffering, and they didn’t need to be.

“I am also a volunteer at Ronald McDonald House in Hobart. I first became aware of obstetric fistula when I met our new House Manager, Carla… she spoke to me often about first learning of obstetric fistula while in Ghana and the work she did while there with women affected by this condition.” – Greg

In countries like Ethiopia, over 70% of births take place without a doctor or nurse present and more than 3000 fistulas occur each year. With the right access to maternal healthcare, this horrific childbirth injury is entirely preventable.

Spreading the word with a High Tea for Hamlin 

Greg explains that he felt it was important to spread the news about this preventable injury. “I asked Carla to come out to our Rotary Club as a Guest Speaker to discuss obstetric fistula and from there the idea was born that we needed to do something in our club about trying to help if possible with treatment for sufferers.”

Together the Rotary Club of Claremont organised a High Tea for Hamlin, with food donated by Rotarians and friends, a fashion show by Urban Liberty, and with ‘Tree of Hope’ prizes selling out in minutes.

“It was a fantastic day, well organised and supported by the Rotary Club and friends of Rotary. Special thank you to Jane Fulton who organised such a fantastic event with help of Rotary and friends.”

Eight lives restored

Together, the Rotary Club of Claremont raised a whopping $5000 for the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation. This is could provide eight women with life-changing fistula surgery, or provide a midwifery student with a one year scholarship at the Hamlin College of Midwives.

“Our aim was not to raise funds for publicity, but it [sharing our story] may well be a way to open the eyes of other Rotary Clubs to this organisation and the role in providing treatment for women affected with this insidious but treatable condition.”  – Greg

Our biggest thanks to the Rotary Club of Claremont for helping to eradicate fistula. Forever. Interested in hosting your own 2018 High Tea for Hamlin? Find out more at hamlin.org.au/hightea 

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