The Power of Partnerships

It was a privilege for GreenLamp to host Zelalem Belete Atlaw, Prevention Manager and Dean of the Hamlin College of Midwives (HCM) in Addis Ababa, as our guest speaker for our Strategic Philanthropy Event – A Bright Future Through Local Partnerships, on the 20th April. 

Local partnerships are crucial to our work and we have developed a relationship of trust and open communication with the HCM over the last three years. Zelalem shared much of his knowledge and gave us an insight into the situation in Ethiopia and the value of the college.

He highlighted that in Ethiopia less than 15% of births are attended by a skilled health professional, only about half the pregnant women benefit from antenatal care, and well under half use some form of contraceptive.  Ethiopia has only about 5,000 trained midwives for a population of almost 100 million people – a ratio of approximately 18,000 people : 1 midwife (well short of the World Health Organisation recommendation of 5,000 : 1).

It was heartwarming to hear how passionate HCM are in working towards not only adding to the number of trained midwives in Ethiopia, but raising the standard of training and addressing the working conditions for the midwives.  This means they can give a much higher level of care to their patients – before, during and after childbirth. The work that Hamlin and GreenLamp have already done through the Light for Life Solar Suitcase project has seen an increase in health centre deliveries of 65% - an amazing result!

GreenLamp President, Christina Blecher, took the opportunity to outline our objectives for the year: to work with Hamlin to provide scholarships for more new midwifery students and supply Solar Suitcases for all Hamlin-deployed midwives.  We also want to extend our collaboration with Hamlin on other levels; for example improving working environments at rural delivery wards, and contributing to teacher and student professional development training. The event was a great boost towards this raising nearly enough for one more midwife to complete her four years of training!

Thanks to everyone who made this possible by attending the event and giving extra donations.  A special thanks to our main event sponsor CBH Europe.  We would also like to thank Guggenheim & Partners for their continued valuable sponsorship of our events since the start of GreenLamp. All proceeds from the event will to go directly to sponsor a midwife.