I missed the wedding! I wanted to watch but did not get up at 3am to watch with millions of others around the world. It was fascinating to see thousands lining the street, smiles on their faces, it was a joyous occasion that brought so much happiness to many. A week ago on good Friday I saw another big crowd. I drove past a block long lineup of throngs of people, eager to get into a warehouse sale to buy clothes. That was a testament to consumerism that perplexed me. These people had such a strong need to buy an item they thought they needed, that they got up early on a beautiful holiday morning, to wait outside in a line for over an hour for permission to enter. There is passion out there people, there is no mistake in that!
It is my wish to help others direct that kind of passion, or at least some of it to helping some of the people that I have come across in the past 3 years. As I have worked around the globe and connected with folks from all walks of life, the push to share their stories and give voice to their lives is palpable for me. I hope that if anyone takes a few moments to try to understand they too will feel something of what I have, and perhaps that small spark will begin a transformation within them that can spill out into the world.
As Mother’s Day approaches on May 8th, I want to share some images of Mothers that I have met from around the world that inspired me. Some with their stories, others with simply a smile, but all with a world vastly different from ours here, but one we can identify with. These mom’s have often had to make great sacrifices, work in ways that we can not often imagine, face challenges in their everyday life just to survive, and have tried to do the best they can. Sometimes they are moms as young as 12 that have been forced into child marriage, and sometimes they are mothers trying to help their daughters have a better life through education. Some of them have been forced to separate from their children to try and provide better lives. These are all stories I have heard from the mouths of women and young girls that Sol Garcia and I have been working with in Kenya.
If you would like to engage with a program that supports young girls and women, please think about donating in your mother’s name for Mother’s Day. For more info please link to Sol’s latest post at Changents and visit Project X Impact. As many of you know that have been following our work, in November and January Sol and I conducted research with girls at risk to FGM and Child Marriage. The work was difficult and rewarding, and has caused both of us to dedicate ourselves to continue to raise awareness and support to the issues.
In thanks and in celebration of Mothers around the World!
1. A mother that works as a weaver in Chettinad cradles her daughter as we sit and talk
2. A Pokot Mother walks steadily towards the village of Alale in NW Kenya
3. I reach out to a young woman that has made huge sacrifces in her life to transform herself after being married at 13
4. Many young mothers in Kenya have no choice in the matter, circumcised and married while they are between the ages of 9 – 14, some choose to leave all they know, to get an eduction and have a life that they choose.