The Quashas & Empowers Africa Bahir Dar Center

Opened in June 2015.

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473 SMAs
trained so far
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Bahir Dar Center

Bahir Dar, Amhara

In July 2015, Healing Hands of Joy opened its Bahir Dar center in the capital of Amhara region. The region has high rates of child marriage that contributes to the prevalence of obstetric fistula. Amhara region shows the highest percentage of home deliveries. Prolonged labor is the leading cause of fistula in Ethiopia.

To date the Bahir Dar Center has:

  • Trained 604 Safe Motherhood Ambassadors.
  • 511 Male partners and family Members Fistula awareness workshops
  • 89 Women supported during Reintegration follow- up visits
  • Held 42 Stakeholder Workshops
  • Provided Micro loans to 297 SMAs
  • Held 80 Community Engagement Campaigns
  • 53 New cases of Obstetric fistula patients have been identified by our SMAs

One Woman's Story

One of our success stories of SMA economic empowerment is Tiru Ambelu. SMA Tiru Ambelu is a 29 years old smiling lady from West Gojjam Zone Amhara Region. She was only 15 years old when she had a stillborn baby and developed double fistula due to prolonged labor. She lived with untreated fistula for 14 years. Tiru said that her husband divorced her right after the fistula. After long years of suffering Tiru got treatment at Hamlin Hospital in Bahir Dar but she couldn’t be fully cured. The hospital sent her to Healing Hands of Joy to be trained as SMA where she successfully completed her training.

Tiru took $250 micro-loan from HHOJ through Amhara Women’s Association and added her own seed money to open a small shop in her rural town of Liben. She diversified the items she sells in her shop and began doing in embroidery as a side business. She says that she makes more that $50 per month by embroidering a single traditional dress. Tiru paid-off her loan on time and saves $30 weekly. She has also begin construction of a house in her town of Liben. Tiru says, “Now my life is recovered, I feel joy and confidence; I’m striving to be a role model for those who face challenges in life. The SMA training filled me with courage and skill to tackle problems in my life.”





Raised for this phase of work in Bahir Dar Center