Honouring Mothers Around the World
Mothers play an important role in families in every corner of the world. On this Mother’s Day, let’s honour some of these remarkable women and their selfless dedication.
Johanna holds her son David, so that he can wash his face and drink clean water flowing from a tap built by the community under World Vision’s support. In the past, like her peers, Johanna would bring some soda bottles to fetch water three times every day from a river, covering a total distance of 6km. The chocolate-coloured river, however, is contaminated with Hepatitis A and poisons, which often causes children to suffer from illnesses. After World Vision’s intervention, the community can now access to a clean water source, helping mothers like Johanna to provide better care for the children.
Sangeeta, a mother of two, received a sewing machine and two goats from World Vision. She says, “We had nothing before. We were given a sewing machine, two goats and training for two years. Now I earn a living by making clothes and use that income on my children’s education.” She can now send her two children to a private school and afford tutorial classes.
A few months ago, Juliana was severely malnourished. Her mother Grace worried that she would die and took her to a nutrition centre.
At the nutrition centre, Juliana was given ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), a high energy, vitamin-and-protein-rich daily supplement for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, while Grace learnt useful information on nutrition and health.
Each week, Grace and Juliana returned to the centre for check-ups and more RUTF packs. Within two months, Juliana gained weight and was no longer malnourished.
“I’m excited to see how Juliana is doing now,” Grace says. “She’s healthier than the other children at her age. I’m hoping she’ll continue to be healthy in the future.”
Seng, 5, helps his mother and his two elder sisters harvest rice. Seng’s father is regularly sick, so his mother, though illiterate, is the only breadwinner of the family. Despite the family’s difficulties, Seng’s mother has high hopes for her three children. She says, “Even though I work very hard, I hope that my children will be able to finish school. I don’t want them to lose opportunities like their two married sisters.”
Fatoumata gave birth to her son Boubacar alone in the fields. Soon after she realised that her baby could not see. The entire community believed he was cursed.
Having been blind for nine years, Boubacar joined child sponsorship programme which funded his operation to regain his sight. He is now a confident boy whose dream is to become the minister of defence one day.
“When I think about all the good things that have happened here, I am so grateful. I stay hopeful, because the children are in school, and tomorrow they will succeed in life,” says Fatoumata. “I used to fear about Boubacar’s life, but now I don’t feel any sadness or shame for him. Whenever I see him, my heart is full of joy.”
Fleeing the ethnic conflict in her homeland Myanmar, Noorkin went through an unforgettable ordeal to getting all her children to safety across the border. Guarding her children like a hawk, Noorkin never left their side for a second.
“I solely depended on God to get our family through this. I had to keep telling my children not to leave out of my sight for even once. We had to be on guard all the time,” Noorkin says.
Being uprooted from the familiar—their home, school and friends—glimpses of anxiousness could be detected on the children’s faces.
“They were worried. When we came initially to this refugee camp they had nothing to do. It was a new place for them. The environment was unfamiliar. They used to be tent-bound most of the time. It made them sad. There was no school and, as a parent, you fear for their future. You start thinking what will become of your children. I could see what our circumstances had done to the children,” she says.
Kalumbu’s son Likezo, 4, was not feeling well. Likezo had been coughing and struggling to breathe for three weeks.
“He told me he had a sharp pain in his chest,” Kalumbu said. “He looked at me and said, ‘Mommy I’m dying.’ I cried, even shedding tears.”
So Kalumbu walked 12 km to bring him to the nearest clinic. There, Likezo was able to get antibiotics and recovered within three days.
13-year-old Joyce was born with a disability, which limited her from socialising with other children. Due to her condition, she was unable to go to school and always spent time alone, while her single-parent mother Alice was away for regular chores.
Noticing Joyce’s needs, World Vision provided her a brand new wheelchair. On the day of the presentation, Alice carried her daughter to the venue, where specialists tested the newly assembled wheelchair with Joyce on it. It went well, and Joyce was visibly excited. Now, Alice is able to move around everywhere with Joyce in a wheelchair, she believes life is going to change a lot for the better.
Lilit is an active participant of a World Vision parenting programme that aims to help caregivers understand the connection between health, nutrition, protection, and development to promote physical and intellectual health.
Through joining the programme, Lilit learnt about the value of play time with children, listening to their opinions, and adopting new recipes for better nutrition.
Lilit says, “I used to do a lot of housework. Now I prefer spending more time with them. My mother-in-law used to always tell me to ‘leave the housework, be with your babies.’ But as a new wife, I felt responsible to clean the house. Now I will come play puzzles with them.”
Published on 13 May 2018