Bringing midwives together to share and learn at the Hamlin Midwifery Network Alumni Summit

In any profession it’s important to share best practice and keep skills up-to-date, and midwifery is no exception. With that in mind, combined with our aim of supporting midwives to become leaders in their communities, GreenLamp sponsored and co-organized the first ever Hamlin Midwifery Alumni Network Summit, held in Addis Ababa in July. It brought together past and present Hamlin-graduated midwives from five regions of Ethiopia for a full day of networking and workshops where they refreshed and extended their skills in midwifery, developed mentoring and leadership skills, and allowed the midwives to share their skills and experience with each other.

The summit was attended by over 86 midwives, including all 20 new graduates and 8 ex Hamlin midwives, as well as 20 or so Hamlin staff, including Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia acting CEO Ato Mamo. Other invitees were from Addis Ababa University, Pathfinder, We Care Solar and the Solar Energy Foundation Ethiopia – a total of 120 attendees in all.

Our aim is to build on the positive outcomes from the summit and turn it into an annual event, helping the hard-working midwives to support and encourage each other, improve the work they do, be more successful and strengthen their leadership abilities.

Below are some highlights of the day:

There were many happy reunions, with the midwives over-joyed to see each other again after their time working in rural health centres, where they are often isolated from Hamlin colleagues and friends for long periods of time. Many described it afterwards as an ‘amazing day’.

Celebrating achievement with their peers, Hamlin-graduated midwives opened the summit by sharing stories of success and what they love about their profession.

Discussion 2 of the summit evolved around the working environment successes and which elements would enable midwives to do a better. Next was some refresher training which began with an instructional video in Amharic – followed by an open forum for sharing knowledge and experience from the field.

Partnership in practice: also included were skills refresher training in how to use the Solar Suitcase and fetal doppler, with Lead Instructor Merritt Eby Gates and Solar Ambassador Shannon Fulton – both from We Care Solar, and Samson Tsegay of the Solar Energy Foundation Ethiopia.

The committed and enthusiastic GreenLamp team that ensured the first GreenLamp-sponsored Hamlin Midwifery Alumni Network Summit was such a huge success! Our team consisted of 9 facilitators including Catherine Knight (4th from the right), a professional organizational psychologist, who gave powerful input as a co-Summit organizer.

The team from left to right: Veronica Blecher, Christina Blecher, Linda Elzvik, Iona Hindes, Joanna Boyd, Catherine Knight, Anette Schreyer, Adam Collins and Lizanne Atherly.