Mother’s Day: Stories from mums around the world

Every day, our teams work with wonderful mums bringing up their children in the toughest conditions.

This Mother’s Day, meet some mums we’ve helped around the world.

Rebecca* from South Sudan

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Rebecca* (back left) with her children, Nyawal*, Chris* and Robert*. Photo: Christena Dowsett/Save the Children.

When fighting came to Bor in South Sudan, Rebecca* became separated from her children in the chaos.

She had them all into a car to escape, but then got left behind.

“We didn’t know whether she was alive or not,” Rebecca’s 12-year-old son, Chris* says.

Our family reunification teams managed to trace Rebecca, and brought her back to her children.

“On the day she came we heard the aeroplane landing and we ran to the landing strip,” says Nyawal*. “I was very happy when I saw my mum.”

For Rebecca, finding her children were safe meant everything.

“When I went 11 months living without my children I worried about them, but I when I saw them I saw they had been looked after.

“Save the Children gave them clothes and living equipment and made sure they were safe.”

Amira* from Syria

A mother and her children in Syria.
Amira* with her children, Joud* and Malaz*, at our health centre in northern Syria. Photo: Ahmad Baroudi/Save the Children.

Bombing forced Amira to flee her home in Syria when she was nine months pregnant. When her daughter, Joud*, was born, she weighed just two kilograms.

“She was very small and her skin was blue,” Amira* says. “At that time I thought she would die.”

Soon after, Amira’s home was damaged in an airstrike while Joud was sleeping. “I heard her crying and I ran like crazy and held her tight,” she says. “Then we fled to the countryside.”

Moving from village to village, the family struggled to find food. When Joud grew weak, Amira had no money to take her to a doctor.

Then, she heard about a nearby health centre that we support where medical care was free.

“I brought Joud here and the doctors performed many tests and gave me vitamins and some medicines for her”, she says. “They also they gave me peanut butter bars. Since then she has started gaining weight.”

When Amira’s second daughter, Malaz*, was born underweight too, she was relieved to know she did not need to worry about healthcare. “I have brought her to this centre many times and they have helped me a lot,” she says.

Anna from Ukraine

Mother and daughter in Ukraine
Anna with her daughter Slava at our child-friendly space. Photo: Dan Stewart/Save the Children.

Anna and her 18-month-old daughter Slava were forced from their home by the conflict in Ukraine.

Before they found our child-friendly space, they had struggled to find friends in their new community. But now, Anna and Slava come to the centre regularly to take part in activities and meet other families.

“We don’t have any permanent circle of friends for our smaller daughter but she is so sociable. I see she has a hunger for communication,” Anna says. “That’s why we like this centre so much. It’s really essential. When my older daughter came here for the first time she didn’t want to leave.”

Our staff also offer psychosocial support to help children deal with the impact of the conflict, and help parents learn how to respond to their children.

Anna says: “Parenting training is important and will help parents learn skills, but also allow them to talk with other parents about their experiences and share ideas.”
Kumari from Nepal

Mother and child after the Nepal earthquake.
Kumari with her daughter. Photo: Sandy Maroun/Save the Children.

When Kumari’s village was hit by the earthquake in Nepal, she carried her children to safety just in time – minutes later, their house collapsed.

Our emergency teams were quickly on the ground. We gave shelter materials to help Kumari and other families rebuild their homes and provided them with solar lamps because power had been cut.

“We were happy to receive assistance,” Kumari says. “We got sanitation assistance and tarpaulins to cover our roof during the monsoon rain.”

*Names have been changed to protect identities.

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