Rehabilitation and reintegration are key to the Hamlin Model of Care. Shamida Ethiopia is one of the warm and welcoming places which provides employment for Hamlin patients who have been treated for obstetric fistula.
Reintegrating fistula patients
Central to the treatment approach pioneered by Dr Catherine Hamlin is a fundamental respect for the woman and a holistic understanding of the patient’s needs. Catherine posits that “we don’t just treat a hole in the bladder, we treat the whole patient with love and tender care, literacy and numeracy classes, a brand-new dress and money to travel home.”
The Hamlin Model of Care feature three key aspects: treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration, and prevention. Many women who suffer from fistula are often ostracised by their communities, and thus require counselling support after they’ve been treated for their physical injuries. By providing rehabilitation and reintegration programs specifically catered for patients at Desta Mender, the Hamlin staff can equip patients with the tools they need to build a life no longer define by fistula. Business courses and vocational training programs are often essential to providing patients the agency they need to rebuild their lives.
A caring workplace
Shamida Ethiopia is a not-for-profit Ethiopian NGO which provides care and support for Ethiopian women and children with nowhere else to go. Shamida Ethiopia employs former Hamlin patients as nannies and carers for children who need help. 28 former Hamlin patients are fully employed at Shamida. The acceptance that these women feel is a far cry from the isolation that many faced before they arrived at Hamlin.
As nannies, the former patients get to work in a safe and loving environment which feels like a home where they belong. For many of the women who lost their child during their obstructed labour, caring for children provides catharsis and aides their reintegration into society. The income they receive gives them choice and autonomy.
How you can help
The Shamida Tote, available at the Hamlin Shop, is made from jute. Featuring the Shamida logo, this tote is a practical accompaniment for a trip to the shops.
By purchasing this tote, you can assist Hamlin patients twice over – proceeds from the sale go to both Shamida Ethiopia, which employs fistula patients, and Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, which treats fistula patients.
You can purchase your very own Shamida Tote today!