Sunday, May 08, 2016

Celebrating Mothers as Refugees, Providers, Advocates, Peacemakers

Photo: Action Aid
"This Mother's Day the biggest choice I’ll be making will be whether to take mum out for afternoon tea or cook her dinner. But for refugee mothers, caring for their families this week will mean making choices with life or death consequences. At our mother and baby centres on the island of Lesvos, refugee mothers tell us daily about the horrific choices they face. As we prepare to celebrate mothers and the amazing sacrifices they make every day, it saddens me that refugee mums are being forced to make dangerous choices, not out of greed, or stupidity, but because they are fleeing harm and death." -Natalie Curtis, describing the five most common ‘choices’ refugee mothers tell us they are making to protect their children. Read more in Action Aid blog
Photo by Sam Tarling for CRS
Abir, a mother who fled the violent conflict in Syria, holds her daughter Nejwa at a tent settlement where they live in the Bekaa Valley. Lebanon has more than 1.1 million refugees, the highest number per capita in the world. More than 70% of them are women and children. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its partner The Good Shepherd Sisters provide food and essential living supplies.  Read more in CRS' Tribute to 12 mothers 
Photo: ONE
Mothers are so important in the fight against poverty and preventable disease. That’s because when women rise out of poverty, they are more likely to take their families, communities, and even whole countries with them. That's why, here at ONE, we think that every day should be Mother's Day! In Zimbabwe, Edith Fuyane is one of more than 1,000 urban farmers in the community of Bulawayo who have formed groups to support their own nutrition and that of the city as a whole. In a country where almost 60 percent of children under 5 suffer from anaemia, the importance of access to fresh food is huge.  Read More from ONE
Photo: Bread Blog
"One in every four children around the world is chronically malnourished — a preventable condition. As a mother, that bothers me. That is why I'm asking you to join me by signing a Mother's Day card asking congressional leaders to invest in nutrition. By investing $230 million this year in global nutrition programs for mothers and children, we can be on course to end hunger by 2030."  -Elaine VanCleave, a Bread for the World activist in Nashville. Read more in Bread Blog
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Did you know that Mother’s Day is not some phony day made up by a greeting card company? It really is rooted in the peace movement!It goes back to the horror of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. Julia Ward Howe was an American pacifist and suffragette who created a “Mothers’ Day for Peace” on June 2, 1872. She believed women bore much of the loss and hardship of war. The Women’s International Peace Association agreed, and decided to observe a day of peace. Read more from

Photo: Carlos Navarro
There is a long tradition of mothers’ movements, from the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo who stood up the military dictatorship in Argentina during the dirty war in the ‘70s and the similar movements that sprouted up around Latin America at the time to protest the disappearances of loved ones. In 1989 a mother and philosophy professor whose son was shot and killed by troops during the protests at Tiananmen Square started the group Tiananmen Mothers to protest the government’s suppression of the events of the uprising. And then in the late ‘90s Israeli women who had lost their sons in the ongoing conflict with Lebanon banded together to form Four Mothers and demand an end to their involvement with the country. When Israel finally did withdraw from Lebanon, these mothers, which swelled to a group of hundreds who regularly protested outside the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, were celebrated as being a major force in the ending of the 18-year-long conflict. Read More in The Sisterhood blog

No comments: