In October 2010 I traveled to Ethiopia withSalaamGarage to profile the childbirth injury of Obstetric Fistula. I was touched by the stories that I heard at Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa and by the Ethiopians whom I met. I wondered what solutions might be possible for the women with the saddest stories, especially those whose fistula repair surgeries were not successful. These women have little hope for a viable future.
Our journey to Ethiopia will take you straight into the heart of its people, and most notably its women. Like many other parts of the world, rural women in Ethiopia struggle with heavy burdens and lack of access to basic medical care, education, and financial independence.
My name is Kristie McLean and I traveled with SalaamGarage to Ethiopia six months ago. For me, one of the biggest attractions to SalaamGarage is its focus on raising awareness of social issues and challenging travelers to ACT (rather than just documenting the status quo) to bring about positive change. I am always on the [...]
Author, Veronica Gray’s Note: In November 2010 I traveled to Ethiopia with SalaamGarage. We had been invited to visit the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa. There, I met Alemtsehay Mamo and Engocha Marefia. I had the privilege of these two very remarkable women permitting me to look into the windows of their lives. They [...]
Louise Lakier: Diagnosis Survivor – Images by Louise Lakier Louise Lakier Louise Lakier is a designer, construction manager, and photographer with a passion for sustainable living. Louise was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and currently resides in Seattle. She has enjoyed documenting the construction process on various sites over the years and wants to turn [...]
I first came to Ethiopia with the idea of profiling women who had suffered from an obstetric fistula and were now serving as advocates for other women. Then I stumbled across three men waiting in the parking lot outside of Hamlin Hospital.
Living without clean water, electricity, medical care, or transportation, as 80% of Ethiopia’s population does, is a hard life. It also fosters community sharing, love for one’s neighbor, and a genuine closeness among the people. Technologically-adept city natives should take lessons on social graces from those that live rurally. Many a time, I thought of the sweetness and caring they showed one another and was touched. I am reminded of how far we have gone “within” ourselves as a nation, in the U.S., and away from personal contact.
Veronica Gray and Robert Daly: Window to the Soul of Ethiopia – Images by Veronica Gray & Robert Daily Veronica Gray is a prominent trial lawyer at Nossaman Law Firm in Orange County, California, with over three decades of experience litigating and negotiating employment issues for her clients. She leads the Employment Practice Group. Over [...]
Sarah Henderson-Women of Wax and Gold – Images by Sarah Henderson Sarah Henderson Sarah Henderson focuses her camera and producing skills on global issues of our time: humanity, sustainability, travel, art, and culture. An internationally published photographer, her work for magazines such as Delta SKY, Wallpaper, Edible Portland, Alaska Airlines, Paste, and Zink has opened [...]
Healing Hands of Joy Healing Hands of Joy is a newly formed NGO which assists Ethiopian women who have suffered from childbirth injuries (mainly obstetric fistula) in reintegrating back into their communities. It was founded by Allison Shigo, who co-produced the Emmy award winning documentary on obstetric fistula (“A Walk to Beautiful”, 2007). The center [...]
Jonathan Hanson: School for Midwives – Images by Jonathan Hanson Jonathan Hanson Jonathan Hanson has been based in Baltimore for the past three years after spending close to a year between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he worked for the Santa Fe Workshops. While in Mexico, he studied Spanish [...]
At age 20, both “Kedija” and “Robe” lost a baby in childbirth due to inadequate health care. Thanks to missionaries, both women were collected from their respective villages and brought to Addis Ababa for treatment. This is a story of faith and love, both lost and found, in so many ways that I find it [...]
What is happening here? Fuji donated Polaroidesque cameras to SalaamGarage so that we could give photos back to the women rather than just take them. Sarah Henderson was photographing patients at the hospital. The woman in these pictures had a double fistula repaired at the Hamlin hospital and was getting physical therapy to learn to [...]
My visit to Ethiopia was engaging. I met and travelled with an amazing group and discovered many wonderful things about the country, a country steeped in beautiful landscapes, history, and deep spirituality, which I think has kept the people strong, caring, and warm. I look forward to returning.
These photos were made during the celebration of St. Mary at the Church of St. Mary in Gondar. We happened to be there that day and were completely welcomed by the Ethiopians as they worshiped. Not only were we welcomed, but people stepped aside so that we could see, snap photos, and clap our hands.
In November, 2010 I headed to Ethiopia to begin a photo documentary about midwives as a sustainable source of reproductive health care. Ethiopia has some of highest maternal and infant death rates in the world. On average, 670 mothers will die from birth for every 100,000. Women often face serious birth injuries, including obstetric fistula, [...]
. . One of the fastest ways to feel like a local when traveling is to eat like a local. And, sometimes you need to prepare to eat like a local. In less than 5 months we are embarking on an important trip to Ethiopia. We still have a few spots left, so its not [...]
SalaamGarage is currently building a team of media makers and storytellers to travel to Ethiopia in November 2010. On this trip we will explore the horrible and preventable birthing injury known as obstetric fistula. The causes, cures, and solutions to eradicating obstetric fistula entirely in the developing world lie in raising the status of girls [...]