Upcoming Canberra event: Lucy Perry, CEO of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia

Talking about physically putting women back together after the trauma of obstetric fistula may not seem like great supper conversation. But hearing Lucy Perry, CEO of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia talk about their life-changing prevention and healing work most certainly is.

Often the aid debate takes place a long way from the reality of the work on the ground. It is easy to get caught up in the long-term planning, the theories and the models and forget that what we do is really about people.

On March 7, Canberrans will get the opportunity to refocus on the human side of aid when Lucy comes to St Paul’s Ginninderra to provide an update on the work of the world-renowned Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and the Hamlin College of Midwives in Ethiopia.

The Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital is the world’s first dedicated fistula hospital, built in 1974. The hospital treats patients free of charge, thanks to the generous financial support of donors.

It is estimated that around 18,000 Ethiopian women face obstructed labour each year. Half of them will die. The other half will lose their baby and gain a fistula and the terrible consequences of this condition.

The discussion starts at 7.30pm at St Paul’s Ginninderra Parish Centre, Curley St, Spence. Supper is included. There is no charge for the evening, but donations to Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia would be welcomed.

To reserve a place email stpaulsspence@iinet.net.au by the end of February.

Note from Ashlee: If you haven’t heard about Hamlin Fistula’s work in Ethiopia, the documentary ‘A Walk to Beautiful’ (made in 2007) is well worth watching. It’s on YouTube here.

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Belinda Lawton

Belinda Lawton is a PhD candidate at Crawford School of Public Policy researching not-for-profit, non-government hospitals and clinics in fragile countries in Asia. Belinda is a communications specialist who has worked with several health-related NGOs in Timor-Leste, Bangladesh and Thailand.

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