$10,000 goal achieved for women’s health
AN IMPRESSIVE $10,000 has been raised by the local community this year to help women in Ethiopia facing a life-changing medical condition.
Portland’s Elizabeth Clements has spearheaded the fundraising for the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation, and will travel to the foundation’s Ethiopian services in November with money she has saved personally or raised in addition to the $10,000.
The foundation operates a hospital that provides surgery for women who have experienced an obstetric fistula during childbirth, generally because they couldn’t access a caesarean after a long labour.
The condition causes urinary and faecal incontinence, and can cause a woman to be excluded from her community.
Her baby also usually dies during the traumatic process.
Obstetric fistula has virtually been eliminated in Australia.
Obstetric surgeon and Australian Dr Catherine Hamlin established the hospital with her husband Dr Reg Hamlin, and the foundation has also set up a midwife training college so midwives can staff the hospital as well as work in rural communities where women experience the medical emergency.
On Saturday, Mrs Clements and a small committee organised the A Bowl of Bands fundraiser at the Portland Football Netball Club to help her reach her target.
The sale of tickets, food and auction items meant more than $3500 was raised on the night.
Mrs Clements said she was delighted that about 100 people went to the evening to watch local musicians Jess Cook, duo Dean Outtram and Damon Yuill, trio Rosie Collins, Nicole Evans and Paul Arkell, and band Since Tuesday perform.
The audience also learned about the work of the foundation.
“A huge thank you to everyone who came out and supported it and for all the many, many people who helped get it together in one way or another,” Mrs Clements said.
Textile items that Mrs Clements has made herself are available for sale to help her cover her travel expenses.
For more information, go to Liz’s Hamlin Fistula Fundraising Event Page.