Hamlin Midwife Scholarship Program

Name of Project: Hamlin Midwife Scholarship Program

2013 – present


Worldwide, a woman dies every 90 seconds from complications of childbirth—90 percent of those deaths are preventable. Currently, Ethiopia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with 875 deaths per 100,000 live births. A woman in sub-Saharan Africa has a one in 39 chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth, compared to a one in 4,000 chance in developed countries.

In rural Ethiopia, only 10 percent of childbirths are attended by skilled professionals. Women who face severe complications in labor are left without medical assistance and often lose their lives, the life of their child or both. Without proper obstetric care, mothers may labor for up to one week, resulting in a stillborn birth and physical rupture—or fistula—that leaves them permanently affected. Women with fistulas of the bladder or colon leak urine and feces constantly. They are often rejected by husbands, shunned from their family homes and forgotten by society. With increased access to educated midwives, many maternal and newborn deaths will be prevented and the quality of women’s lives will be greatly improved.

Community Involvement: 

Maternal child health was identified as a top priority, and in response, WEEMA international established this midwifery scholarship program. Our current 5 scholarship recipients are all high school graduates hand-picked by Hamlin College of Midwives based on past academic achievement, interest in midwifery, English language skills and a strong commitment to return to their home communities.  After graduation, these 5 women will serve as “master midwives”-  to provide excellent clinical care and improve the overall maternal child health systems.

Hamlin College of Midwives, associated with with the prestigious Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, provides a very rigorous 4 year training program with an strong emphasis on hands-on, clinical experience.


  • To train, equip and deploy highly skilled, trustworthy and accountable midwives who are willing to serve women and their families in rural Ethiopia.
  • To decrease maternal and newborn deaths by assisting every woman in the area to have access to a well-trained midwife that can provide quality maternal and child health services.


  • Financial provision for tuition and accommodations to enable five scholars to complete high-quality midwifery education at the Hamlin College of Midwives in Addis Ababa.
  • Mentorship and monitoring of the scholars’ performance and deployment in Kembata Tembaro Zone following graduation.
  • Upon deployment after graduation, the scholars serve as master midwives to improve maternal health care in rural facilities of Kembata Tembaro Zone.
  • Our first 4 students will graduate in Fall 2016.