Desta Mender means “Village of Joy” in Amharic.

This idyllic village outside of Addis Ababa shares grounds with the Hamlin College of Midwives and is the cornerstone of our reintegration program, specifically for women who need longer-term care before or after surgery.

In addition to counseling, the women also participate in a series of training sessions to gain skills they can use to earn income, including customer service, literacy and numeracy necessary for a sustainable livelihood, livestock care, and tending a garden with rotating crops.

 

Desta Mender residents work in the kitchen preparing a variety of meals. (Photo by Mary F. Calvert)
Desta Mender residents work in the kitchen preparing a variety of meals.

 

A resident of Desta Mender herds cows for the dairy farm on the grounds of the home for patients who have had diversion surgery or have to wear a bag.  (Photo by Mary F. Calvert)
A resident of Desta Mender herds cows for the dairy farm on the grounds of the home for patients who need more long-term medical support.

 

Residents of Desta Mender work in the gardens on the grounds of the home for patients who have had diversion surgery or have to wear a bag.  Photo by Mary F. Calvert)
Residents of Desta Mender work in the gardens and learn how to tend crops.

 

Residents of Desta Mender work out in the physical therapy room.
Residents of Desta Mender work out in the physical therapy room to regain their strength and mobility.

 

Former resident of Desta Mender has her own business selling coffee and lives in a nearby village.
Patients also learn ways of making an income when they return home. This former resident of Desta Mender has her own business selling coffee and lives in a nearby village.