Nothing Is Stronger than a Mother’s Love

By Anne-Marie Grey

July 24, 2017

The motivation, spirit and resilience of these moms should inspire all of us.

Nothing is stronger than a mother’s love. You see it in the lengths refugee mothers go through to protect their children.

Mothers like Um Abhoud who fled Syria in 2013. It was the only way to keep her children safe from the war.

“I miss my land, my home, my family. I miss everything from Syria. […] The most important thing is that we are sheltered all together in this house and that we are happy.” -Um Abhoud

Portrait of Um Abhoud (36) and daughter Inas (4). Thanks to UNHCR, they now live in a rehabilitated apartment in Tyre, Lebanon, where they can stay rent free for up to a year.

© UNHCR/Sebastian Rich

Mothers like Christine whose youngest child was born a refugee in Uganda last month. She braved a multi-day trek through the bush with her family to escape violence in South Sudan.

“We walked for three days without food and water. I thought I would deliver [my baby] on the way.” -Christine

"We walked for three days without food and water." South Sudanese refugee Christine, 26, holds her week-old baby girl Anwech, in a makeshift shelter at Ngomoromo border crossing, Uganda. Christine, a schoolteacher, was in her last week of pregnancy when armed forces attacked the town of Pajok. She fled with her two children and grandmother and gave birth two days after arriving here. ; An indiscriminate attack by armed forces on the town of Pajok in South Sudan on 3 April 2017 caused tens of thousands of people to flee. By the end of the week, some 6,000 people had crossed the border into Uganda’s northern Lamwo region. Many of those who fled Pajok saw family members killed or beaten in front of them. The elderly and disabled who could not run were shot dead, houses were burned and looted, and roads out of the town were blocked by armed groups searching for rebels. UNHCR’s response to the crisis is centred at Ngomoromo crossing point where emergency assistance, including food, water, sanitation and healthcare are being provided. Of the 1.7 million who have fled South Sudan since the conflict reignited, more than 800,000 are living in Uganda.

© UNHCR/Rocco Nuri

Single mothers like Ada who made the dangerous journey from Honduras to Mexico with her three-year-old son after facing threats from local gangs.

“If you move in the country from the gangs, they will find you and it will be worse because you disobeyed them. I felt very relieved to reach safety here. We are comfortable in this shelter and treated well.” –Ada


© UNHCR/Sebastian Rich

Um Abhoud, Christine and Ada are mothers who will do whatever it takes for their children.

Thanks to USA for UNHCR donors, Um Abhoud and her family are able to live in an apartment in Lebanon. Christine’s newborn is healthy and she and her children have food, clean water and a safe place to sleep. Ada and her son have shelter, counseling services and legal support.

Refugees are just like you and me — they love their families and work hard. And they are very likely to succeed and give back to their communities when given the chance. The motivation, spirit and resilience of these moms should inspire all of us.

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Header photo: UN Photo/Albert González Farran

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