HAND FOR MOTHERS...
Raises £43K for clinic wing
“We’ve had women talking about how they were going to commit suicide because of the shame they felt, and the clinic was able to help them.”
Over the years Maureen and Jo have found themselves seeing the reality of what life in Ethiopia can be like – as well as the difference they can make.
Maureen said: “There was a woman who was 67, and was dying because of the prolapses.
“So we took her into hospital, found a bed, cleared the bed ourselves and were then asked which of us would give blood for her. Neither of us could do that.
“At the gate outside there are groups of young people who simply stand there waiting for people to come out and pay them to give blood, which is what we had to do.
“The next year we saw her again, and she came dancing over to us because she was healthy again.”
The Ethiopia experience also means that Maureen has to make some adjustments when she gets back home.
“There’s no water, the electricity can only be on for a couple of hours and then when I come back I’m a completely different person for a couple of months.
“My girlfriends don’t want to be near me because if I see them wasting anything I’ll be moaning at them.
“It’s a hard life, but it’s very simple – you get up, you help those women and that’s it.
“We’re up at 6.30am and in bed by 8pm – it’s like a boarding school. The nuns are wonderful, though.”
The clinic requires continual donations to stay open, with £ 5 enough to secure five pairs of pants, £10 a blanket and £15 enough to feed an Ethiopian woman for a month; £500 can build a new house, and £1000 pays the entire staff of the centre for a month.
More information can be found at www.ethiopiamedicalproject.com
Gifts Maureen and her cousin, Jo Middlemiss, are welcomed when they get to Africa