“You brightened my darkened life and cured me from unthinkable injury.” These are the words of Banchiw Ashagre when talking about oura trusted Ethiopiaid maternal health partner, the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa. Generously funded by you, their care empowered Banchiw with hope for a brighter future.
Ever since I first encountered the heartbreaking reality of fistula injuries for young women in Ethiopia, I have been working hard to try and bring about an end to their suffering by providing life changing treatment so that - one day - we can eradicate this terrible injury.
Sindayo is 29 years old. The labour of Sindayo’s first child was long and complicated – she tried to give birth, at home, for three days before she was able to reach a local hospital. It was here that Sindayo received the devastating news that her baby was stillborn and was later diagnosed with obstetric fistula – a result of enduring such a protracted labour. Soon after, her husband divorced her.
Thanks to your support, AWSAD have been able to help 19 young girls (studying in primary, secondary, and higher education) with costs to keep them in school. These girls had previously been unable to attend because of familial pressures and violence. This support is crucial to allow young survivors to continue their education and develop their self-confidence.
Mayram had been circumcised in the first 10 days of life - a single, destructive act that wrecked her tiny body and opened her father’s eyes to the horror of female genital mutilation (FGM). For the first two years of Mayram’s life, her father, Muusa, fought to keep his daughter alive by regularly squeezing her bladder to relieve her.
We have 46 rescued ‘mingi’ children within our love and care receiving the benefits of this grant. There are 65,000 people in the Omo Valley who are indirectly benefitting from the work of Omo Child, through outreach in the tribes that attempts to end mingi, and by saving and caring for many children from this region.
Mebratu was born in Dessie, 400km North of Addis Ababa. He is one of five boys whose mother died when he was a baby. His father, an alcoholic, would come home drunk and violently beat him and his brothers. Mebratu was forced to spend the evenings searching or begging for food.
Dolek (pre surgery images of a sensitive nature displayed)
Dolek was just two when the Noma infection began to eat away at his face. Had his family been able to afford the journey, they would have taken him to hospital then. But that simply wasn’t an option, so the infection spread and spread.
Gena is 16 years old and from Southern Ethiopia. Before she found Facing Africa, the left side of her mouth was almost inverted so that the gums and teeth were apparent through the cheek. She is the youngest of six and had spent her entire life behind the walls of the home.
Karima first came to Facing Africa with severe facial injuries. People found it difficult to look at him. Just think how damaging that must be for a child. His ability to communicate was
almost non-existent and he would literally hide behind his sister whenever strangers were near.
Mother Enanu is a widow of 70 years, suffering from high blood pressure. Besides her sickness she is forced to take care of her two grandchildren who lost their immediate mother and father due to HIV/AIDS. One of the children is HIV/AIDS positive.
Mother Merkebwa is 75 years of age and a widow with two daughters. Her life is very miserable. She is a leper and her two daughters gave birth outside legal marriage and are segregated by the community. Before she found DEWADA, Mother Merkebwa was making her living by begging.
Amanuel Habte is 17 years old from the Benshangul-Gmuz region. He encountered bilateral post-polio paralysis after birth. Amanuel's friends and neighbours thought the cause to be evil and advised that the he should be taken to holy water. Amanuel crawled around on stony, muddy and dusty paths, which was tiresome and painful.
Enamo Yadessa is 17 years old. She was admitted to Menagesha Rehabilitation Center for physical rehabilitation after being referred by Cheshire's Mobile Outreach Service. When the outreach team visited her village, Enamo emerged from the house crawling on her hands. She headed to the mobile clinic van for physical examination. Both her two lower legs, hip and knee had severe flexion contractures due to Post Polio Paralysis contracted since her childhood. She was pale and filled with despair.