Sneak Peek from Bahir Dar Ethiopia

Last week, SafeHands returned to film in Bahir Dar, Northwest Ethiopia. The trip provided us with the amazing opportunity to reconnect with Wube-Enat and Simegne, whom we first met 11 years ago.    

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Wube-Enat was 9 years old and just about to get married when we first met her in 2008. We revisited her in 2016 to see how life had changed since marrying and now, at the age of 19, with her one-year old daughter in her arms, she told us about her journey over the last 11 years.  

See how life was for Wube-Enat in 2016 when she first moved in with Abebe.

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In 2008, Simegne was 13, married to a much older man, and pregnant with her first child. Today, her situation looks very different. When we met her last week, she told us about how she’d been able to create a happy life for her and her sons.  

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A Health Extension Worker (HEW) provides information about Maternity Waiting Homes to three pregnant women while coffee is being made. Maternity Waiting Homes are a lifeline for women across Ethiopia. Adjacent to health centres, they serve as a place where women can safely await birth. The Maternity Waiting Homes reduce the challenges of transportation during labour and provide women with access to a skilled attended birth, emergency obstetric care and postnatal care.

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For the past 10 years, Yeshareg has worked as a Health Extension Worker. Although the hours can be long and the paperwork piles up, she loves working in her community. Each month, she holds meetings in the surrounding villages to spread awareness about the importance of maternal health and giving birth in a health clinic. She changes lives every day. 

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We had a fantastic time in Bahir Dar and we couldn’t have done it without the amazing crew, Adanech, our translator, Ashenafi, our camera man, and Aemero, who facilitated the week’s programme. Without them we wouldn’t have been able to meet so many incredible women.  

Nancy Durell Mckenna