with eyes open wide
It says something about a person when they choose to move to a place where everyone else is fleeing.
Edna Adan left Somaliland (not internationally recognised as a country, but is the northern part of Somalia) to study nursing in the UK when she was young. But she returned to her homeland right before the Somali Civil War to build a hospital in the mid-1980’s. She was forced to flee, but returned again in 1997 to continue her dream of building a women’s maternity hospital.
After spending her life savings building the hospital, she ran out of money before it was finished and luckily received support from two Americans who had read about Edna’s efforts and decided to help.
The hospital was finished in 2002, but was severely understaffed because most trained nurses had either fled the country to had been killed during the civil war. Therefore, Edna recruited her own small staff and began training them herself while the hospital was still under construction.
Edna understands the importance of providing midwife care in the hospital, but also in the countryside where many women cannot make it to the hospital during an emergency. That’s why she set up a midwifery training program with the goal of training 1,000 individuals to work in the most remote parts of Somaliland.
My hat is off to Edna for being a completely selfless individual and using her riches and knowledge for the benefit and wellbeing of thousands of others.