Mestawet Medacho underwent surgery earlier this week. She has suffered from 3rd degree prolapse for five years. She is a widow who has delivered five children, two of which are living. Thanks to our donors for helping change her life. Not only did you pay for her surgery but also her transportation to get to the hospital!
Say hello to Mezgebu Falta. She is 50 years old and has suffered from 3rd degree prolapse for three years. Her only child died. Thank you so very much for helping this patient.
This is Askale Tema. She is also a widow who has suffered from third degree prolapse for three years. She has been pregnant nine times and has six living children. Both of these patients came to us from Dr. Mary’s clinic in Ajura . Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia also helped pay their transportation to the hospital. Thank you for your support!
This is Galtame Dingato, a 70-year-old woman who has suffered from prolapse for nine years. She has been pregnant 11 times and has delivered 10 children. Thanks to your support, she has been sponsored for her life-changing surgery!
Say hello to Belaynesh Falta, a 40-year-old mother who has two children. She has suffered from prolapse for 10 years and actually had prolapse prior to her last delivery. She underwent surgical correction and is very thankful for your assistance.
Say hi to Dalibe Unke! She has 10 living children and has been living with a second degree pelvic prolapse for a year. She is so grateful to MWAHFE for sponsoring her surgery. Thank you for making a difference in her life!
We are so please to introduce you to these women who have had their prolapse uterus surgeries sponsored by you - our generous donors!
Please meet Befene Babulo who has had surgery for uteropelvic prolapse. She is 58 years of age, a widow and has delivered 10 children. Thank you for helping make a great difference in her life.
Deligate Kajala has been pregnant eight times and has three living children. She is a widow from Ajora and has suffered with severe uterine prolapse for a few years. We are so glad to be able to sponsor her life-changing surgery! Deligate is the 104th woman we've sponsored for surgery.
This is Wogate Abebe, a widow who has been pregnant eight times and has six living children. For the last three years she has been bothered with her prolapse occurring at times and then being reduced. However, she has had severe prolapse for three months and has now been sponsored by MWAHFE for her surgery!
This is Belaynesh Budacho, a 45-year-old married woman who has been pregnant 13 times. She has eight living children and has suffered from third degree prolapse for three years. She underwent surgery August 1st. We're so happy for you, Belaynesh!
This is Ukume Dargaso, a 60-year-old widow who has suffered from third degree prolapse also for three years. She has five children but has been pregnant nine times - one child died and she had three miscarriages. She also underwent surgery on August 1st.
From Dr. Mark:
We'd like you to meet Ayinate Lota, a widow who has had severe prolapse for seven years. She also has a loiter of her thyroid and her thyroid levels were elevated to where we could not perform her surgery. She was supposed of had surgery on August 1st but due to her high thyroid levels we had to cancel her surgery after spending two days in the hospital. We put her on anti-thyroid medication and will see her again next month. We paid for her transportation to go home and to return. She is 50 years old with nine living children. She stated that her prolapse prevented her from being able to work to help herself financially.
We're hoping that you will be well enough for your surgery very soon, Ayinate!
UPDATE: Ayinate was able to have her surgery in February 2018. We're so happy for you!
From Dr. Mark:
Dear all, please meet Biranesh Bugle, a widow who has been pregnant seven times has five children. She has had 4th° pelvic prolapse for three years. She underwent surgery today. Thank you so very very much. God bless you!!
Shelley and Megan were two of the team members who were recently in Ethiopia and met some of these beautiful women. When we received Mamite's story and photo shortly after their return home, Shelley had this response:
From Dr. Mark:
"Please meet Mamite Arma. She is 61 years old who had a fourth degree prolapse. She has been pregnant seven times and has five living children. She has suffered from prolapse for six years, making it too difficult for her to even leave her house. Thank you for making such a difference in her life. God bless you."
It was a such a privilege for our team to drive these two women from Bucama to Soddo Christian Hospital for their surgeries. Dr. Mark writes, "It is been great having the team here for the past few days. Thank you for making such a great difference in these peoples lives. God bless you.
Shulale Kaba (right) was pregnant six times and has four living children. She has suffered from UVP for four years had a third-degree uterine prolapse before her surgery.
Alana Aba (below) had suffered from third degree uterine pelvic prolapse for five years. She has been pregnant seven times and has six living children. She also is very poor, having come to the hospital barefoot.
We are so happy for these beautiful women! Their lives have been changed forever by these surgeries.
We'd like you to meet Elfenesh Cholibol. She is 50 years old and has suffered with a prolapse for five years. She has had eleven pregnancies and has seven living children. Her third-degree uterine prolapse, large cystocele and rectocele were repaired in surgery earlier this week.
Incredibly, Shelley and Val were able to meet Elfenesh and then put on scrubs and watch some of her life-changing surgery. What an amazing opportunity!
Shelley and a small team of volunteers in Ethiopia right now catching up with all of our projects. Our Facebook page has more about what they're seeing and experiencing.
by Megan Stacey
It’s about so much more than running.
The Girls Gotta Run Foundation offers about 100 young ladies the chance to form a community, to exercise and share meals among friends, to get a quality education, and to build the foundation for a better life.
Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia funds these athletic scholarships for five students in Sodo through Girls Gotta Run, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2016.
“It’s right up our alley,” said Barb Reid, a retired school principal who chairs Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia’s education advisory committee and board of directors. “It’s setting them up, definitely, for success.”
Girls Gotta Run is about reaching out to young women at a time of transition when many drop out of school, usually between Grade 5 and 8. At that age many girls are pressured to get married or work to support their families.
“They didn’t have any access to family planning information or health care facilities and were at a high risk of dying during childbirth. They really weren’t able to access the tools they need[ed] to build economic resilience or sustainability in their family,” said Girls Gotta Run executive director Kayla Nolan.
“So we decided to hone in on that age to help girls build a better tool set so they can reach their goals.”
The three-year athletic scholarship includes transportation to school, uniforms and running gear, medical care for the student and her mother, team lessons, practices, and coaching, plus healthy snacks and meals.
“We use athletics to create that safe environment, where girls can talk to each other about issues they may be facing and form a peer support network,” Kayla said.
Ultimately, it’s a “listening organization,” she added.
“As we became more in tune with what challenges the girls were specifically facing in rural areas and also in the city, we adapted our structure to address those needs,” she explained.
Part of that adjustment led to including the families of the girls in the program, including entrepreneurial training and a group savings plan for their mothers.
“A lot of women don’t have the space to be able to talk about financial issues or learn how to manage money,” Kayla said. “It’s been really inspiring to see the moms get excited about that.”
Each woman contributes 2 birr (about ten cents) per week to a communal pot that they can draw from to enrich their businesses – everything from spice grinding to selling shoes to making injera.
“They invest in each other and then return those loans,” Kayla explained. The funds allowed one woman to hire an employee to help with her labour-intensive baskets, and another family was able to open a small shop in which to sell their traditional, homemade alcohol.
“Not only are you keeping a girl in school, but you’re helping her family,” said Barb.
Thanks to Girls Gotta Run, young Ethiopian women have gone to post-secondary school or job training, many embarking upon their dream careers and some even competing on the international running scene.
And though most of the girls are more interested in running as a recreational activity, that central tenet of the program is key to its success.
“There’s a lot of need in Ethiopia and there’s a lot of ways to invest and contribute to communities, but it’s exciting to use something that’s a source of pride for Ethiopians, like running,” Kayla said.
“It’s more dignified and speaks to the community in a way that is respectful and meaningful, and a way they can feel part of the programming we’re working on.”
Kayla said it’s validating to know that many of the girls would have left school if it weren’t for the program.
It pulls on Barb’s heartstrings, too.
“To continue their education, that’s the key. To me, with my background, without an education you don’t have much hope of anything,” she said. Barb’s elated to know the girls in this program will have a strong education in their tool belt.
And the best part is that the scholarships are an investment, not a handout.
“They’ve got to be the ones who do the work, but if we can just help with providing the money so they get the education, they’ll go on to hopefully improve the lives of more Ethiopians,” Barb said.
Kayla sees that ripple effect.
The girls avoid early marriage and tend to have their children later in life. Their parents often report a physical transformation as the girls get stronger, mentally and physically, and have access to lots of fresh air and healthy food.
And the Girls Gotta Run participants pay it forward.
“Women and girls have been shown to invest largely back into their own families and community. It’s the best investment you can make,” Kayla said. “And it’s exciting to be able to provide an opportunity for people to invest in a way that’s going to have a really long-lasting impact, not just a one-time donation.”
For Barb, it’s about sharing the value of childhood education – no matter where you live.
“By providing them with an education, we’re providing them a future.”
Photos courtesy of Girls Gotta Run Foundation, Inc.