Regardless their age and ethnicity, mothers the world over have common needs. What are they? Global Volunteers suggests that no matter where mothers live and work, they all share these basic, and universally recognized desires. And they deserve our support.
Mothers’ and children’s needs are inextricably interrelated. Perhaps no stronger bond exists on Earth than that of a mother and child – especially during the first two years of life. So, it stands to reason that mothers must be protected, nurtured, and educated to provide the greatest outcomes for their children. Yet, mothers and children suffer greatly all over the world. It takes all of us – every day of the year – to support mothers, and ensure our world’s future – our children – can achieve their highest potential. Here’s how to invest in mothers and protect the investment they nurture.
Respect is demonstrated in different ways around the world. For instance, motherhood is a mythologized institution in Tanzania, and greater reverence is extended as mothers grow older in the community. The practice of a mother taking the name of her youngest child (such as “Mama Tony” in Ipalamwa) is a sign of mutual respect between the two. Global Volunteers builds and nourishes this maternal bond in the Ukwega Ward with the Reaching Children’s Potential Project in Tanzania. You can contribute directly to programs helping pregnant women and new mothers give their children a healthy start in life.
How to show appreciation for mothers? In Cook Islands culture, the senior “Mamas” as well as young “mums” love the flowers cultivated and growing wild throughout the islands. Blooms are worn behind the ear, in the hair, as a flower crown and are even used in traditional medicines and remedies. Flowers are always an appropriate way to express appreciation to mothers worldwide! And, more than that, making certain that mothers have the resources they need to help their children thrive is the most important way to express appreciation for what they do every day.
In too many places in the world, mothers fear for their safety. And, often, communities don’t have the resources for adequate shelter and security for impoverished mothers and children. These fundamental needs are the broader society’s responsibility, but often fall on vulnerable individuals in crisis. Every mother deserves emotional and physical safety, and every child deserves a mother who is physically and emotionally secure.
As the “official nurturers” in the family, mothers also crave, but often don’t receive, similar nurturing. Yet, nurturing mothers is in fact a long-term investment in the entire community itself. Mothers shore up a community’s social, economic, and educational well-being. So, providing adequate housing, nutrition, health care, education, and earning opportunities for mothers will produce families that are healthy and self-supporting. And, it’s the right thing to do. Global Volunteers assists women’s co-ops, maternal and child health care, basic education, parent workshops, and conversational English teaching worldwide.
Intact families have a good chance of raising well-adjusted children. And, mothers who are supported financially, physically, and emotionally are better equipped to care for children to adulthood. A 2017 National Institute of Health study found that single mothers report less happiness and more sadness, stress, and fatigue, causing diminished ability to offer nurturing to their children. In many cultures around the world, stigma against single mothers causes undue stress on the family unit. What’s more, mothers who are part of a thriving relationship, sharing child-rearing responsibilities, are more likely to rise above inter-generational poverty.
This Nepali expression of Mother Love beautifully describes the regard for mothers the world over: “Is there much else contacting, more grounded, fiercer and more delicate on the planet than mother’s nurturing love? Our dear moms, ladies who wore nine months in the belly their kids, persevered through the torment of labor and restless evenings in the support of their little children! We compliment you and wish your children to pay you with a similar extraordinary love, warmth, and care that you once gave them immediately and completely!” This poem expresses the least we owe mothers worldwide.
Helping Mothers Obtain What They Need
Most important, mothers strive to enable their children to fulfill their purpose in life. They appreciate help in raising healthy and happy sons and daughters, and seek resources to provide all the advantages society allows them. Global Volunteers works with mothers worldwide to help provide essential services so children can reach their full potential, and to provide safety, nutrition, and educational resources to their families. To put your love, appreciation, and respect in action, support mothers now around the world, and enable their children to thrive. Donate in honor or memory of your mother, sister, or grandmother here.