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Going Home

David Goldman | Ethiopia

With her husband, Dr. Catherine Hamlin founded the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa in 1974. It remains the only hospital in the world dedicated to curing obstetric fistulas.

In late November of 2010, I travelled to Ethiopia with Salaam Garage a group of social journalists to cover some of the issues with obstetric fistula. Our work was based around the Hamlin Fistula hospital in Addis Ababa. My goal was to show the journey these young woman need to take to either get to the hospital or to get home once cured. This is the story of two young woman "Going Home"


This is a story of faith and love, both lost and found. In so many ways that I find it hard to fully explain. Lets make one thing perfectly clear it could easily have gone either way. Take the road to pull at the heart strings and show pain and sorrow by creating images of woman suffering through the worst parts of fistula, or chose to focus on what can happen when the best parts of humanity can be allowed to thrive. I’m taking the high road here. For me there really was no choice.

I told you it’s about love and faith. Love because I fell in love with these two young women, watching them supporting each other in a way that only love can allow. Because there are two villages full of family and friends that gave these two women the love and courage to take a journey to the unknown in hopes of being healed. Faith because they simply must have it or they would of given up a long time ago.

Both of these women have lost their babies, both are from a remote area in Ethiopia known as the Bali Mountains. Although not far by car from each other they had never met and yet they suffered from the exact same affliction. An obstetric fistula and the loss of a baby. Both women were left incontinent for more then four years. There social value had dropped with their inability to function as normal contributing woman of the tribe. Both were left to rot in a hut.

Thanks to the help of some missionary’s they were transported over 1000km to Addis Ababa to the Hamlin Fistula hospital where they received to surgery to correct the fistula and therefore a chance at a normal life. Like the thousands of women that arrive at the gates to the hospital each year they are not turned away regardless of whether they can afford to pay, and of course they cannot, they cannot even pay for a bus ride to Addis Ababa.

The hospital can survive and do the surgery that these women so desperately need because of the donations and support from people who care about this issue. 


David Goldman Photography   Phone: 646 722-6283 Cell: 323 459-8017 Email: david@davidgoldmanphoto.com Web: www.davidgoldmanphoto.com Blog: davidgoldmanphoto.wordpress.com twitter.com/dibzy Facebook Fanpage

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