As 2020 draws to a close, we reflect on an extraordinary year which saw the very sad passing of Dr Catherine Hamlin and the terrible impact of a global pandemic. We thank you for your continued compassion, love and trust in us.
Mother Teresa once said: "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." It is a notion that epitomized Catherine's work. To her, every woman mattered. It is an ethos that remains at the heart of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia; throughout 2020 it drove every fistula repair surgery and baby born safely at a Hamlin hospital or clinic.
Catherine planned for her hospitals to continue long after she was gone and the team at Hamlin have not wavered. This year saw a renewed determination by our extraordinary medical professionals - many of whom trained under Catherine - to continue her work.
Their results are highlighted in the 2020 A Year in Review Newsletter. We are so proud of this significant progress in a very difficult year. We are also proud of you, our wonderful supporters for helping take us a step closer to fulfilling Catherine's goal to eradicate fistula from Ethiopia, and in doing so, go some way towards eradicating it from our world altogether. A special thank you must go to our committed community of Hamlin regular givers.
We know this year has been challenging for all of us. Thank you for continuing to support Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. We couldn't do it without you.
We wish you a safe and happy Christmas
CEO, Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation
As we reflect on the year 2020, it is with both great sadness and great hope. Sadly, Dr Catherine Hamlin passed away on the 18th March after a life well lived. Drs Catherine and Reg Hamlin devoted their lives to the women of Ethiopia, and their work healing and saving the women with horrific birth injuries will continue until fistula is eradicated throughout Ethiopia. The Hamlin Model of Care lives on through the hospitals and the Hamlin-trained midwives working across the country. The love and care that first began over 60 years go by the Hamlins is now in the safe and caring hands of our Ethiopian doctors and nurses, as envisaged by Catherine and Reg when they first set up the hospital in Addis Ababa.
The world has suffered this year with the devastation of COVID-19. This unprecedented pandemic has taken a heavy toll upon our communities. But we are so proud of and so grateful to our many donors who have continued to support the work in Ethiopia so that treatment can continue apace. The staff at Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia have been so brave and stoic through this difficult period of world history, and their priority has always been to help and support the many women who have presented at the hospitals and clinics with fistula through this time.
A real focus for 2021 and beyond is the Patient Identification Program which will help us reach the goal of eradicating fistula from Ethiopia by 2030. We are seeking out every remaining patient, many in isolated rural communities, and many who have lived with fistula for many years, so that they too can return to a normal, happy, healthy life. Your valuable support will enable these vulnerable women to be found and treated, and we sincerely thank you for this support.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation, I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas, and a safe, healthy and happy 2021. We have high expectations that 2021 will be a year of great achievement - the women of Ethiopia need us to continue our work and to tackle fistula with all the resources that we have available. Your continued participation and support is vital to this work.
Chair, and the Board of Directors at Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation
Click here to read more from our 2020 Year in Review Newsletter.