Here at the Global Moms Challenge, we are grateful for everything moms do to make the world a better place for everyone. We know that you—moms—are the backbone of strong families and strong communities. This Mother’s Day, we’re sharing powerful reflections from our community on global issues and what motherhood means to them. We’re inspired and we hope you are too.
When children are young, a mother’s most important job is keeping them safe and healthy.
When I became a mom, I hoped I would inherit my mom’s superpowers. Little did I know, being a mom includes so much more than I expected—most importantly, maintaining the safety of my children. When children are young, a mother’s most important job is keeping them safe and healthy. Yet many mothers around the world don’t have access to the resources they need to protect their babies from malaria– a preventable disease.
This Mother’s Day, it’s important to remember that millions of moms are constantly worried about getting malaria – or worse, losing a child to it. In sub-Saharan Africa, 10,000 women and between 75,000 and 200,000 infants under one year die annually as a result of malaria infection during pregnancy. No one should have to die from a disease that is both preventable and treatable. That is why our work at Nothing But Nets is so important to me. – Margaret Reilly McDonnell, Nothing But Nets‘ Executive Director
We can only empower women and girls if we include men and boys in the conversation.
As a soon to be new first time Mom with a baby boy on the way, I believe it’s highly important to include gender empowerment into discussion and educational discourse. We can only empower women and girls if we include men and boys in the conversation. I plan to educate and expose my son to the importance of equality and opportunity for all so he grows up not seeing disparities the way many people in our world do today. What I am saying may sound idealistic, but I was raised in a household with six kids (three boys and three girls), and we were all treated equally, given the same opportunities, and encouraged to be independent thinkers. – Sophia Hyder, www.sophiahyder.com
She [a mother] prepares for needs to come “from anywhere,” not just from the places we expect.
The word “mother” can apply in so many non-traditional ways. At a recent service of Church Without Walls in Jacksonville, Fla., I witnessed someone who is a traditional mother of a child do the dual duty of being a priest – “Mother Beth.” As minister to an urban church that meets in a parking lot, she is responsible for organizing reverence in an unpredictable environment. She shared pastoral wisdom, steered a parishioner who wanted to sing to the right time in the service in a caring way (i.e., it wasn’t the right moment but the man got his opportunity), made sure everyone left with a sack lunch. She told the people handing out bulletins, “our foyer is 360 degrees — people come from everywhere.”
Isn’t that what any kind of mother does? She prepares for needs to come “from anywhere,” not just from the places we expect. -Paula Kiger, Big Green Pen
Mothers and grandmothers play a fundamental role in laying the ground work to make the world a better place.
As we examine the history of global development and progress made over the last 20 years, it is clear that the mantra of “local actions lead to global impacts” is true. Change starts on the community level, and if we dig a layer deeper, we find that mothers and grandmothers play a fundamental role in laying the ground work to make the world a better place, as they are the backbone of our communities, and our individual homes. When we are able to live in a world where all mothers have access to family planning, health care for their families, education, and other basic needs such as electricity and clean water and sanitation, the possibilities for global progress are endless.On this Mother’s Day, I am thankful for the access to services made available to me and my family. Raising a child with a disability is not easy no matter where you are, but I am grateful that my son has access to quality medical services and therapies to improve his quality of life. My hope is for all children with a disability to have the same access and for their mothers to have the peace of mind that their child is getting all of the services that they need to meet their full potential. -Lindsay Pierce, UN Foundation
It is amazing to see so many women and mothers taking the lead to demand better from both the garment and food industries.
Mothers are the primary decision-makers in families about clothing and food purchases. We often are driven to bargains, but there’s a growing awareness that cheap goods are paid for by someone. More often than not, these cheap goods come at the expense of other mothers–mothers working in the garment industry, mothers working low-wage jobs in food production and more. Increasingly, though, more mothers are making the choice to invest in quality not quantity and choosing to support companies that treat workers well. The purchases we make give us tremendous power to improve the lives of women across the globe and it is amazing to see so many women and mothers taking the lead to demand better from both the garment and food industries. – Marianna Sachse, Hello Jacaklo
Our duty of care to mother each other, is to fight for each other – from the farthest corners of the world, to our next door neighbor.
As we mother our children, let’s also remember to mother each other and lift each other up. Let’s remember to use our voices for each other, to speak out and speak up for those in more vulnerable circumstances, to agitate our elected leaders to make the right choices for women’s and children’s health, and to remember we are tied by this incredible connection of raising children in this world. We must fight for every woman to have proper access to healthcare when pregnant and in childbirth, for the right to breastfeeding support if that’s what works for her. We must fight for every child to get access to life-saving vaccines and protection from diseases. We must fight for every child to have clean air and proper nutrition, the right to a quality education, and safety. Our duty of care to mother each other, is to fight for each other – from the farthest corners of the world, to our next door neighbor. Now that’s a mother’s day I want to celebrate. Chrysula Winegar, Global Moms Challenge