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Year: 2010

Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: PG

Runtime: 56 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: Steven Salgo

Produced By: Dina Volaric, Steven Salgo

Language: English


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Lighting a Candle provides a personal insight into the life, work and vision of Dr Catherine Hamlin AC who, with her late husband Reg, founded the internationally renowned Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and its pioneering work to improve women's health in Ethiopia.

Leaving Australia in 1959, Catherine and Reg travelled to Ethiopia where their hearts were broken by the plight of the thousands of women who suffer from obstetric fistula. Caused by prolonged, obstructed unassisted labour resulting in a stillborn baby, this condition leaves the mother permanently incontinent. These young rural women are banished from their families and community and left to suffer as destitute outcasts.

The Hamlins decided to 'light a candle for Africa' by staying and helping these women. They developed a surgical cure and took on a mission far ahead of its time. Fifty years since they first lit that candle, tens of thousands of women have been cured and given new lives. This has made the Hamlins one of the most influential medical couples of the past 50 years. Founded on a strong Christian faith, their work has been marked by a dedication towards improving the lives and opportunities of others.

Now in her late 80s, Dr Catherine Hamlin continues to work at the Hospital with other surgeons whom she has trained and inspired, including a former fistula sufferer, Mamitu, who has become a leading surgeon.

Catherine's vision is to give every Ethiopian mother a safe delivery and a live baby. The Hamlin College of Midwives has been established to train young midwives who will return to their communities to ensure the safe delivery of babies and healthy mothers.

Lighting a Candle shows the compassionate dedication of the Hospital's medical team and the long term benefits for rural Ethiopian woman because of the Hospital's holistic approach. We see for the first time, how the midwifery college is training future local leaders in women's health in Ethiopia.

Through a labour of love, the Hamlins have created an inspiring and visionary approach and fostered a new generation of women's health care in Africa.

Follow this link to view LIGHTING A CANDLE trailer:

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