Mamas under fire: how hardworking are these women?
We all know motherhood can be intense, but when you're already facing hardship it can be even more so. We're grateful to Compassion.com for sharing these stunning photos that capture the unshakeable love of mothers.
This mum lives on the high plains of Bolivia. She is a community leader and carries her child with her wherever she goes — at an elevation of about 3.6 kilometres! In many places around the world, mums don’t have car seats or prams, but keep their babies bundled up tight with them.
Kadzo is a mum from Kenya who makes a living breaking rocks into gravel to be used in construction. She works 10 hours a day, every day. But for all that labour, she only earns US18 cents for every pile of rock. Thankfully, Kadzo’s daughter, Salama, is sponsored through Compassion.com. Instead of breaking rocks, Salama dreams of being a teacher, and her mum dreams alongside her.
This mum in Guatemala grinds corn the traditional way, by hand. Around the world, many mums are responsible for preparing their families’ daily meals and do so without the help of labour-saving devices. In fact, half the world still relies on biomass for cooking. From gathering water to starting a fire, from grinding grain to preparing the meal, cooking constitutes a considerable part of the day for these women!
Tigist from Ethiopia is pregnant with her second child, but she has already spent a lifetime caring for others. When she was 14, she had to drop out of school to care for her sister who was ill. She later married her husband, Abebaw, who is paralysed, and she acts as his primary caregiver. Though Tigist is used to taking care of everybody else, through Compassion’s Survival Program, she now has a community who can care for her, too.
Ricci is a mum who lives in a dangerous area of Honduras, a country with one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Several years ago, she was shot in the back in a gunfight between gang members and the police. She has been in a wheelchair ever since. Ricci’s husband left her after the accident, leaving her alone to care for their children.
“I’ve always been a hardworking woman. The hardest thing about being in a wheelchair is that I’m not able to do anything,” says Ricci. “I get my strength first from God and second from my kids. I know God is with me, even though I cannot touch Him.”
Yurelis is a mother in the Dominican Republic. Besides taking care of her young children and working, she is also going to college to fulfill her dream of graduating from university. Around the world, many women and girls drop out of school after having children, but by staying in school, they can increase their families’ earning power, and so their ability to care for their children, exponentially.
Houtagni, a mother in Togo, knows both hard work and suffering. She wasn’t always able to provide the care her daughter needed when she was sick. But with the help of sponsors, her children are getting the care and nutrition they need. She gives this advice to mums facing hard times: “Keep on praying and never give up. Even though the whole world is against you, you should not give up. You should know that God is with your family and they will be all right.”
Norpoe fled fighting in Myanmar about 15 years ago and settled in Thailand. As a single mother, she worked hard to provide for her three children, but they often went hungry. Without citizenship, she can’t find employment or decent pay. But she is receiving help from the local church.
Photos by Ben Adams, Ryan Johnson and Alexander Whittle.