Gran gets a gong for work in Ethiopia
A GRAN who co-founded a charity to support a medical clinic for women in Ethiopia has been recognised for her work, which has helped more than 8000 women.
Maureen Burnett, from Burnside, began Ethiopia Medical Project (EMP) with her cousin Jo Middlemiss, from Kinross, after coming across the tiny clinic in Buccama, Southern Ethiopia while in the country volunteering.
At the time the centre was inundated with patients suffering with severe uterine prolapse and staff were struggling to cope without enough food or medical resources.
After hearing the experiences of patients and seeing the dedication of the staff, Maureen launched the first appeal at home in Scotland planning to raise enough for a few basics such as mattresses.
Now the charity aims each year to make a minimum of £25,000 through events and donations from hundreds of people in Glasgow and beyond.
The clinic has expanded to become the Buccama Health Centre with two wards, a laboratory and 22 members of staff including five qualified nurses.
Maureen, 74, said: “Opening the letter was such a shock, I honestly didn’t believe it.
“I was so desperate to tell someone but you have to keep it a secret and so I’ve been desperate to tell my family all Christmas.
“My co-founder Jo, who is also to receive an MBE, and I feel such gratitude for our experience working in Ethiopia, for being able to get to know these women, who often have little more than what they stand up in, but yet never complain and are so full of joy.”
The charity now aims to raise £5 million to enable the clinic to be self-sustaining in the future.
Maureen added: “My biggest New Year wish is that the charity will somehow be discovered by some great benefactor or organisation who wants to help us to continue to support the people in Ethiopia.”