Community helps women in Ethiopia
LOCAL businesses and members of the Whitsunday community have joined forces to raise $900 for a young women's hospital in Ethiopia.
The money was generated over about two weeks in December through a fundraiser organised by local resident Michelle Crossley. Ms Crossley was supported in her endeavours by management and staff at Whitsunday Transit and a number of Airlie Beach businesses who donated prizes for a raffle.
Ms Crossley said she first heard about the hospital, run by an Australian doctor called Catherine Hamlin, on an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show, about a year ago.
"She (Dr Hamlin) has spent her life helping young girls who have suffered terribly from difficult and prolonged childbirth," Ms Crossley said.
"Some of these girls are as young as 12-years-old. They have been cast out from their families and their husbands disowned them because of a physical problem, which could actually be fixed," she said. "This hospital does more than (just) corrective surgery, it gives these young women a second chance at life. (In fact), they say about 90 per cent of women who go into this hospital come out with a brand new life."
Ms Crossley said the donation of $900 would pay for two women to receive the necessary operations and rehabilitation.
Fellow Whitsunday resident Robyn Mitchell will travel to the hospital in Addis Ababa on January 16 to personally present the money, along with a second cheque from the Zonta Club of the Whitsundays.
"This money is hugely important to support the work of the hospital in a poor country where women often have babies at a young age and there are so few medical services to support them," Ms Mitchell said.