BY SCO Admin | January 22 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Two Catholics nominated as Scotswomen of the Year

Two Catholics who support women with medical problems in Ethiopia have been jointly nominated for Scotswoman of the Year.

Joe Middlemiss and Maureen Burnett (above) are among six women who will compete for the prize at a glittering awards ceremony in Glasgow City Chambers next month. They have been nominated alongside champion wheelchair racer Samantha Kinghorn, dementia academic Debbie Tolson, charity worker and quadruple amputee Corinne Hutton, and Glasgow Women’s Library founder Adele Patrick. The awards are sponsored by the Evening Times newspaper and the St Enoch’s Centre in Glasgow.

The Catholic duo’s charity work began after Ms Burnett visited Ethiopia and was introduced to the work of a clinic run by a Franciscan nun. She joined forces with her cousin Joe Middlemiss and together the two began the Ethiopia Medical Project, fundraising for the clinic and regularly travelling to the country to lend a hand.

The project supports The Buccama Clinic, which helps women suffering with uterine prolapse after childbirth. While the medical problem can treated routinely in the west, in parts of Africa, women can be left ashamed and ostracised with little understanding of the problem and unable to even lift up their newly born children as a result of the condition.

Money raised for the project is used to fund the clinic which has a staff of 15, including trained nurses, but operates on a shoestring budget. The project also provides for operations, food, transport and recovery for the sick women.

Ms Middlemiss, a parishioner of St James’ in Kinross who also works with St Paul’s Episcopal Church in the town, said that ‘practical and prayer’ is the philosophy she follows in her charitable endeavours.

“I totally assume it is all for the greater honour and glory of God,” she said. “We learn from these sisters [who work in the clinic]. They get up in the morning at six o’clock, they say their prayers, they work all day, they laugh, they smile and they go to bed. The clinic doesn’t have electricity, just a generator that they run a few hours a night. And we are there with our iPhones and iPads saying, please can you turn on the generator so we can charge our stuff!”

The two charity founders plan to head out to Ethiopia again in February, and may well be taking with them the new title of Scotswomen of the Year.


—Visit, to find out more about the charity or to donate online




—This story ran in full in the January 22 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.


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