cropped-Lemburan_newlifelg_4.jpgMission for My New Business

When starting my new business I have been through the process of exploring, WHAT IS MY PURPOSE? Other than improving retirement for both myself and my husband one of our big drivers is to be able to pursue philanthropic endeavours.

My Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG)

My BHAG originates from a church women’s network presentation about 12 years ago.  We had an information evening and fundraiser for the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Aba Ba in Ethiopia.  I plan to be able to support five x student midwife scholarships for the Hamlin Institute within five years.

Explaining Fistula

Catherine Hamlin and her husband were Australian doctors who were doing work in Ethiopia in the mid 1950s where they discovered a huge need for surgical support for many women who had suffered a birthing injury fistula.  A fistula is a perforation of the vaginal wall to either the bladder and/or the bowel.  This, as you can imagine, creates huge hygiene and cultural issues, which leads to exclusion from their families, villages and tribes.

Cultural Impact

The injury is common due to the existing cultural norm of girls in early puberty being married off and having babies.  The injury occurs due to often long and difficult labours and has been scientifically investigated to confirm there is NO relationship with cultural practices, such as female circumcision.

Community Midwives

Training local women to become midwives is a comparatively new program however is already making a difference to the incidence of the fistula injuries.  The midwives receive their education by scholarship in exchange for returning to their villages to provide valuable medical assistance on site.  As local women they not only understand the cultural sensitivities they also speak the language, of which there is quite a diverse array, making it difficult to send just any qualified midwife to provide the service.

Scholarship Training

As I started my research into the program and its needs I was anticipating a lofty financial target would be required to meet my goal which was one scholarship.  I was astounded that a scholarship place only requires funding of AUD$4500 a year for a total of AUD$18k per student to complete their four year degree and why I believed it was reasonable to elevate my target from one to five.  Even if the program is fully supported there will always be other needs to sustain the improvements in medical care that occurring across Ethiopia and Africa in general.

How YOU Can Get Involved

If you also wish to find out more about the program or add your support

Author – Leanne Wakeling

Coach – LG Inspires – Transformation to Live Life on PURPOSE