When Hamlin Fistula was introduced as a new 500 Project at Colour 2014, I wept uncontrollably for these Ethiopian women. I had a horrendous end of labour with my then six month old baby girl, Adelaide Grace and I knew that if I had of been in Ethiopia (or any other third-world country), I knew that my story too could have been of loss and of segregation from family and society that wouldn’t let me rejoin them or function in social settings.
You see, Adelaide got ‘stuck’ in labour and we lost her heartbeat, and because of an incredible hospital and medical staff she was born safely via an emergency caesarean section. We never took for granted our hospital or medical staff, but I also never realised the implications that can come from a woman being in labour for days and how often it is happening. My heart was torn and I knew that I had to do something; I had to be a part of changing her world and of being a part of restoring her dignity.
I had just started an online children’s accessories business, and while it was only small, I knew that was my platform. The week after Colour I announced From Grace would be donating $5 from every item purchased from our 500 Project Collection to The Hamlin Project. For a small business that was only a couple of months old I knew it was a huge sacrifice, but I couldn’t not do it. Those mothers in the presentation were my motivation as well as looking at my beautiful, healthy daughter, this was for her, that she would always grow up in a world that values people and is part of a people that will Be The Change. In the first month we raised almost $200 and I thought just maybe we could do this. Now, we have raised $500 from our online sales and people are aware of the work that Hamlin Fistula do. We have raised money for one woman to have an operation that will restore her, amazing! And now I’ve put the challenge out there to my customers and team that we will continue to raise money for The Hamlin Project and try to fund another surgery.
Though I’m a small business, run from my kitchen table in Quakers Hill, its an amazing feeling to know that in a distant country a woman’s life is going to change because of a children’s accessories brand and a group of people willing to put their hands up and say, ‘yes, we will carry this’, and you know what? We have and we will continue to do so.
Owner/Designer From Grace