DOHA WOMEN SET OFF ON MERCY MISSION TO ETHIOPIA
DOHA NOVEMBER 23: TEN Doha residents will travel today to Ethiopia to work with women and children’s charities in the beleaguered country.
Led by Doha-based businesswoman Kimberley Sheedy, the 10 women hail from all walks of life and will work at the Hamlin Fistula Foundation in Addis Ababa, with destitute women and Yezchalem Minch Orphanage in Ethiopia.
The women are embarking on the trip to raise the profile in the Middle East region of the work being done by mentor Dr. Catherine Hamlin of the Addis Ababa Fistula Foundation.
Owner of the Starfish Lane nurseries here in Qatar, she has been working for the past six years with Dr Hamlin and the foundation in Ethiopia.
“Our mission is to try to establish the Hamlin Fistula Foundation in the Gulf Region, to share the plight and suffering if these beautiful and innocent women,” Ms Sheedy said.
“Women there are the victims of poverty and illness, especially of fistula. The pain of rejection and isolation has led them to demoralisation and loss of dignity. Helping them are the best moments of my life. Ethiopian women bear the brunt of the overall oppression, injustice, poverty and violence that have engulfed their society.”
I want to share how I have lived my dream, by working alongside my mentor, Dr Hamlin, the women will also have the opportunity to meet my beautiful foster daughter Meaza, the women will be able to hear firsthand how you really can make a difference to another.
“This should and can happen anywhere in the world, I was drawn to these intrepid lands of Ethiopia, it is a far cry from my hometown of Sydney,” said Sheedy.
Doha resident Christina Zini is one of the women taking part in the mission. She said she shares Ms Sheedy’s passion to establish a foundation in Qatar and the GCC to help women in Africa.
“Setting up something for African women who are not treated as equal, is something that the GCC countries and us as individuals can embrace,” Ms Zini said. “Dr Catherine Hamlin, at the fistula foundation in Addis Ababa, is bringing about a change in the lives of woman and children in the rural areas in Ethiopia and it will be amazing to see the work she is doing and help in a small way.”
Ms Zini said she and the other women were moved to join the trip after seeing a presentation by Ms Sheedy about her passion for Ethiopia.
Zainab Sultan, a student at Northwestern University in Qatar, will also accompany the women with a view to making a documentary about the visit and the work of the foundation. Ms Sultan developed an interest in the issue of fistula and how it affects women in poor countries after watching a documentary.
“I remember crying after watching the film and wished that one day I could do something for them,” Ms Sultan said.
The women depart today and will spend several weeks in Ethiopia at the orphanage and the refuge.
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