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:: Spotlight :: Premiere screening of "A Walk To Beautiful"

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

The film “A Walk to Beautiful” follows five women in Ethiopia who suffer from devastating childbirth injuries. Shunned by their communities, these women spend their lives in utter misery, loneliness and shame. The film follows their journey to Dr Catherine Hamlin, AC, at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital where their lives are transformed because of the work of this outstanding Australian doctor.

Dr Catherine Hamlin, AC founded the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia with her late husband Dr Reg Hamlin, OBE in 1974. Together they pioneered a surgical procedure which completely cures fistula patients in 93% of cases. Those patients who cannot be completely cured are cared for on an ongoing basis at a purpose built village called Desta Menda, “Village of Joy”. There the women are taught literacy and numeracy skills and are assisted to find employment.

Dr Catherine Hamlin, AC is one of our most honored and remarkable living Australians. She has worked with the poor and destitute women of Ethiopia for more than forty five years and she has given tens of thousands of young women a new start in life. Now over 80 years of age, Dr Hamlin still operates and, with her team of doctors at the Hospital, trains fistula surgeons from many third world countries.

Most of the women who go to the Hospital are childless because their first labour was obstructed and the baby stillborn. Some of these patients are as young as twelve years old. The prolonged labour that they experience (in some cases for up to seven days) results in a hole in the bladder and sometimes the rectum – this is called a fistula. The result of this is permanent incontinence. The women, due to their offensive smell, are often rejected by their husbands, families and villages. They cannot work and they become destitute outcasts.

It is estimated that there are currently two million fistula sufferers living in third world countries today. Through international awareness, education, hospital care, midwifery training and prevention of child marriage these statistics can be vastly reduced.

The Hamlin Fistula Relief and Aid Fund, which represents the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Australia, is pleased to be able to present the Sydney Film Premiere of the feature length, award winning documentary “A Walk to Beautiful” by Engel Entertainment, New York.

The screening, with the Director Mary Olive Smith and the Producer Steve Engel, will be held on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, 380 Military Rd, Cremorne, NSW at 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start.

Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased online

A post film reception with the Director and Producer will be held at the SoBar, 1st Floor, Hotel Cremorne

For more information, visit

www.fistulatrust.org