Selam! Your Winter Newsletter 2022

1 August 2022

Ethiopiaid Australia latest news divider

Here's to you!

Welcome to your Winter 2022 Newsletter, chock-full of good news stories about the difference you're making in Ethiopia.

Hear how you gave fistula survivor Tinishe a new lease on life, get an update from fistula surgeon Dr Ambaye, and hear from young Almaz as she shares her heart-wrenching story for the first time.

Thanks for being an important part of this work. Here's to you!

Jump ahead:


You are saving lives!

Your support of the Safe Motherhood Ambassador program saved Tinishe’s life

When Geda’s wife, Tinishe, developed obstetric fistula last year, he was scared for her life. Tinishe had just spent three excruciating days in childbirth, only to learn that her baby was stillborn. Later that night when she awoke covered in urine, she realised she was also incontinent. Word got around in her community. This was too much “bad luck” and she was shunned by her neighbours and friends.

“Tinishe began carrying a piece of rope hidden under her arm so she could hang herself and end her life when no one was looking,” Geda says. “I couldn't work and followed her around because I was afraid she would do it.”

Geda loves his wife and was determined to help her. But, with a lack of awareness about obstetric fistula in southern Ethiopia, he didn’t know where to turn.

“I sold my farming oxen to get treatment for her, but nothing worked except spending more family money we don't have.”

After a year of looking for an answer, Geda happened to be at a market while a Safe Motherhood Ambassador (SMA) was giving a talk. He recognised the symptoms she was describing and approached her afterwards for help. Within two weeks, Tinishe received corrective surgery at the fistula hospital in the city. She opted to train as a SMA to raise awareness and prevent suffering in her own community.

You can see from the photo above how happy and proud Tinishe is on her graduation day as a trained SMA. A truly life-changing result!

Geda is thrilled his wife is cured and has found purpose in her life again:

“She was a very strong and hard-working woman before the fistula. She is the pillar of the family and I don't know what I could have done without her.”
“The most important thing is she's now cured. Thank you very much. I promise to do everything I can to help with her continued rehabilitation and her SMA work."
Click here to continue this life-changing work and train more Safe Motherhood Ambassadors like Tinishe >



"Without your help, I am not able to support these patients..."

Ethiopian fistula surgeon, Dr Ambaye, sends her thanks

Thanks to YOU – all the champions across Australia who dug deep for fistula support in Ethiopia this year – you’ve funded a year’s worth of fistula treatment and prevention.

Our long-time project partner and one of Ethiopia’s leading fistula surgeons, Dr Ambaye, was humbled and touched by your compassion. She wanted to pass on a message of thanks to you all, in recognition of all that you are doing to support women in need in Ethiopia.

"I want to take this opportunity to pass this message to Ethiopiaid Australia and all the donors.
Without your help, I am not able to support these patients. So on behalf of fistula patients, I would like to thank you all - all donors - in contributing for the woman/victim of obstetric fistula in Ethiopia."


Throughout the rest of this financial year, your donations will:

Treat 150 patients
for obstetric fistula and pelvic floor disorders (which normally costs $740 per surgery, but is provided free-of-charge for patients)
Fund or reimburse transportation fees for 150 patients
(many will save for years or sell a cow or goat in order to afford transport)
Run continuous radio announcements
for the rest of the year (1 minute message, 2 times per week)
Give 100 cured patients a new dress
to wear home (to replace the often urine-soaked clothing they wear to the hospital)
Identify 50 fistula patients
living alone and isolated in their communities
Run 6 fistula awareness programs
in rural communities, expecting 100 people at each program
Run 4 fistula training workshops
for health professionals, catering to 50 people each
By giving a gift today you can help find and treat more women suffering needlessly from fistula >



From Almaz’s heart

Thanks to you, domestic violence survivor Almaz has a happy future ahead!

“My name is Almaz. I was born in Addis Ababa [Ethiopia’s capital]. My father died when I was a child and my mom remarried. When I was 11 years old my mom also passed away.

After my mom passed, my stepfather started to harass me and attempt to rape me during the night. He tried so many times and when I shouted, he hit and threatened me.

My neighbours started to suspect [that there was domestic violence] and they reported to Zema Women for Justice [the women affairs bureau] who brought me to the safe house.

When I came to the safe house, I was afraid, had no confidence, and I was also ashamed of what happened to me. After few weeks, I realised I was not the only one whom violence has happened to. And I started to heal.

The safe house helped me a lot to become emotionally and physically well. I continued my education and I got good grades to go to university. After three years of study, I earned my Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Gondar University!

Now I am living in the community by myself and I am working as a counsellor. AWSAD* has helped me to become what I am now… Confident, empowered and happy.

Thank you for all your supports and helping me and girls like me have a happier life!”


Brand new safe shelters!

This year our project partners, the Association for Women’s Sanctuary & Development (*AWSAD) opened not one but TWO brand new safe shelters in the Afar and Amhara regions of northern Ethiopia.

After 18 months of civil conflict, many thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes. Women and children were especially vulnerable to violence and exploitation. AWSAD saw the crisis unfolding and acted quickly.

With these two new safe shelters, they hope to ease the effects of the conflict and ensure more women and children fleeing violence have a safe space to turn. Did you know it costs AWSAD $50 to cover a month’s worth of meals for one woman at the safe shelter? Any gift you can give today will help them run their shelters. Thank you!

Click here to help run these safe shelters and ensure women and girls escaping violence always have a safe space to turn >



Supporter Spotlight

What Australian supporters are saying:

“Thank you all for the self-sacrifice you invest in these beautiful people, especially those precious pregnant young women. I wish that I could be there to offer practical assistance. Next best thing, I know, are my prayers and small financial offerings sent with utmost love.”

- Patricia, Burrill Lake NSW

Thank you Patricia! This work would not be possible without the care and action from people like you.