Bersabel Feleke Abera

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In loving memory, Dr. Catherine Hamlin AC, 1924 – 2020

The tears rolled down my cheeks are not of sadness. They are from the thought of moments my heart got touched by Dr. Catherine Hamline.

On one of my days in Harar, I received a call around 7 pm from my good sister Sofiya Mussa – Sofi. It was about a woman from the rural parts of the area, and who was suffering from Fistula. Sofi had someplace to be at that time and was kind enough to pass this blessing to me.

The woman heard about the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation branch in Harar but had no idea about the hospital address. That was why I was needed. On our way to the foundation, the story of the woman who speaks Afan Oromo and a broken Amharic pained the heart of the person who speaks Amharic and broken Afan Oromo – me.

At the gate of the hospital, the security guards told me with alacrity that my role is done, and I could leave her there. But, the fact that they are men and the sensitivity of her case didn’t allow me to take the offer.

What I witnessed inside the center that day is hard to explain in words. The readiness and hospitality at the reception were overwhelming! One can never expect such cleanness from a center in a town where water may not run through pipes for a month or more than that. And, what I read from the faces and eyes of other patients overcame my emotion. For the first time in my life, I dared to question God.

I came to know about and love Dr. Catherine before I knew about the Harar branch. But that day, I accepted her as an angel who was sent to us to give new life to those poor women and girls who suffer from Fistula.

Dr. Catherine, it is now time that you rest in Heaven.
Lots of Love and Respect,

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