The work is not just about mending bodies; we are passionate about harnessing the incredible resilience of our patients through compassionate, patient-centered care. Hamlin Fistula Hospital provides physiotherapy and psychological counseling, along with treatment for malnutrition, anemia, and other ailments. In addition, many patients are trained in literacy, craftsmanship, and other life skills, which help them to regain senses of joy and self-worth, as well as fully reintegrate into society.

Women Embroidering


Sometimes, a woman’s injury is too severe to be surgically repaired. These women often have disabilities related to nerve damage or need ongoing medical care. Others have injuries that put them at continuing risk of infection.

For these women, there is Desta Mender, the “Village of Joy.” At this idyllic farm village, not far from Addis Ababa, women are offered long-term accommodations, education, and training in life skills and income generation through micro-enterprise projects.

About 100 of our long-term care patients have received training as nurse-aides. They help care for other fistula patients, showing them that renewed life is possible after the devastation of obstetric fistula. Other patients have gone through catering training at the village’s Juniper Café.

Desta Mender currently houses 50 women with chronic long-term injuries. It also accommodates pre-operative patients for the Hamlin Fistula Hospital.

Unfortunately, we can’t bring you all to Desta Mender, but we can bring the village to you through a virtual tour. Through this “tour” you will learn more about the village and see the work in action!

Hamlin College of Midwifery, Desta Mender