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Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation

Your donation will help support a woman like Emnet on her journey back to health & dignity after the trauma of fistula.

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There are around 31,000 women in Ethiopia living with devastating childbirth injuries called obstetric fistula, because they don't know help is available. An estimated 1,000 women suffer a new fistula injury every year. Catherine’s trailblazing Hamlin Model of Care - today replicated around the world - finds, treats and holistically heals these women, restoring their lives.

Women living with childbirth injuries suffer great trauma. Following obstructed labour, they are left incontinent and usually lose their baby. They are shunned from their community and live hidden not knowing help available.

In a single year, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia treats more than 6,000 patients and perform more than 2,000 surgeries.

We also provide counseling and a range of vocational training to support nearly 1,000 women in their recovery. A woman's healing journey starts the moment she arrives at a Hamlin fistula hospital. She is given a Comfort Package containing a Hamlin blanket that has been lovingly made by a volunteer, hygiene items, a new nightgown and slippers, and a homecoming dress.

These are utter luxuries for the many women who arrive at a Hamlin hospital without shoes, wearing the only stained clothes they own. When they wrap themselves in their Hamlin blanket, they feel the warm embrace of people like you.

$40 provides a Comfort Package for one woman
$80 provides two women with a Comfort Package
$900 covers the cost of surgery for a woman with simple obstetric fistula
$2,500 covers the cost of surgery for a woman with complex obstetric fistula

Your gift has a life-changing impact by restoring a woman's dignity. Thank you for supporting women as they reassert their humanity, secure their health and well-being, and regain their roles in their families and communities.

Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia's work is centered in Ethiopia, a country with one of the highest fertility and maternal mortality rates in the world. Our vision is simple: To eradicate obstetric fistula. Forever.

For more than six decades, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has implemented our world-recognized approach to the holistic treatment of women and girls with obstetric fistulas — severe injuries resulting from prolonged, unrelieved and obstructed labor, typically in the absence of skilled birth attendants.

In 93% of cases, the mother suffers not only dramatic tissue damage, but she also loses her new baby. Nerve damage and weakened pelvic muscles make many daily tasks unmanageable. And, women are also often ostracized from their communities – cut off from avenues to leading a full, healthy and happy life.

The Hamlin Model of Care – The World's Leading Approach to Treating Obstetric Fistula

Dr Catherine Hamlin pioneered an approach to treating obstetric fistula, including developing a new surgical technique, that dramatically changes the lives of women and girls — in some cases in no more than an hour.

The Hamlin Model of Care is unique because it is not just about repairing injury, but restoring dignity. Hamlin's Rehabilitation and Reintegration Program at Desta Mender offers counseling, literacy and numeracy classes. Additional programs for vocational and life skills training help women find sustainable employment or establish their own small businesses. Today, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is staffed by more than 550 Ethiopian medical professionals and five regional hospitals have been established to respond to the significant demand for fistula surgery.

To accelerate change for women in Ethiopia, our Project Zero teams will go from door-to-door, in every Woreda (district) to identify women living with historic fistula cases and organize care and treatment. At the same time, we will strengthen maternal healthcare services, to reduce the incidence of birth injuries, and increase awareness, so women have the tools and knowledge they need to give birth safely. Hamlin College of Midwives Lasting change for women and girls requires building a workforce of skilled birth attendants. Through our Hamlin College of Midwives, we recruit women from rural communities in Ethiopia to learn the Hamlin Model of Care during a four-year Bachelor of Science in Midwifery program. The curriculum is fully certified and includes the precondition that students conduct at least 40 deliveries before they graduate. Upon graduation, Hamlin midwives return to their villages – today staffing over 90 rural midwifery clinics in remote areas.

Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation is fiscally sponsored in the USA by KBFUS (EIN582277856)

For gifts by check: Write your check to KBFUS, write "Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation Friends Fund" in the memo section of the check, and send it to KBFUS, 551 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2400, New York, NY 10176.

Gifts by wire transfer or to contribute other types of property: Email KBFUS at: or phone (212) 713 7660.

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs): You can designate Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation as a beneficiary for your donor-advised fund (DAF). A DAF allows you to give cash, stock, and other assets and you will receive a tax deduction when the contribution is made.
How it works:
Request a grant distribution through your DAF sponsor.
Share that the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation is a Friends Fund held by the King Baudouin Foundation United States (KBFUS; EIN 58-2277856). As a fiscally-sponsored Friends Fund, the grant will be made to KBFUS with a designation allocating it to the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation Fund.
You will receive a receipt from KBFUS and a letter of thanks from Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation.