17 Beautiful Portraits of Motherhood Around the World
Meet 17 mothers, sisters, aunties and grandmothers who prove love is the strongest force in the world.
10 May, 2018
"Love is the strongest force in the world."
-- Corrie Ten Boom
1. Sacrificing for the next generation, Thailand
“I want my daughters to go to school and gain knowledge so they can go and look after themselves. I don’t know any words. I can’t read, I can’t write. I never went to school. When I grew up, I had to face many problems like running away from the Burmese soldiers. So I had no time to learn.” -- Guapor and her daughter, Norpawketoo
2. Doing the daily chores together, Ghana
A mum helps her son balance a water container in Ghana. In many countries, the responsibility for collecting water largely falls to women and children.
3. Looking forward to greatness, Togo
“My greatest worry is how I can manage to raise my children, Emmanuel and Elizabeth, because I want them to become someone great tomorrow.” -- Adiowav and Elizabeth
4. Learning to read together, Bolivia
A mum in Bolivia takes notes as she participates in literacy lessons. Now she can teach her daughter, who watches on attentively, everything she learns.
5. A new generation of hope, Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, Joshoda never learnt to read or write but she wants a different future for her daughters. She encourages them to study and work hard. Eldest daughter Rupali takes her advice seriously. “When I finish my homework at the project, I can spend more time to help my sister in her studies and aid my mother in the household chores," she says. Joshoda couldn't be prouder: "My daughters have been an overwhelming blessing in my life."
6. The sanctuary of family, Togo
“In five years, I hope to see my life completely changed. To have a business that’s going very well. One day, I dream of having a new home. My favourite part will be the bedroom, where me and my children will sleep. A place where I can go out, come home and open the door and nothing else matters. That’s where I want to see us in five years.”
-- Adankanou Hougdenkou and her twin daughters
7. Cooking from the heart, Peru
“My mum has a good heart. She always cooks for me and for all the kids at the [child development centre].” -- Verenise Mallqui
8. Weaving for a better future, Uganda
Mums in Uganda learn to weave baskets to sell, as their babies watch on.
9. Train a child up in the way they should go, Indonesia
Praising God with the help of some tiny worship leaders in Indonesia.
10. Fixing problems ... and preventing them too, Thailand
“I wanted to be part of [the Survival project] because Compassion can help me and meet my family’s needs, lots of our needs. But I was also interested to know and to learn how to properly care for my child. That’s what Compassion teaches. I have more knowledge now. I’m not just fixing problems, I’m preventing them before they happen. So raising [Nawin] is better than the previous two.” -- Mue Jae Thoo, 29, and her son, Nawin, two
11. A reason to smile, Togo
“My little sister passed away just a few months after she had Bernardin. Her husband died just a few months later. All of a sudden, I had three kids. It’s really a blessing to see a child grow up, even if they’re not your own. I do miss my sister. When I think about the happy times we shared, I smile. One day, I will look at my nephew and tell him, ‘Your mother was awesome’.” -- Adakanou Aholoussi and her nephew, Bernardin
12. Regaining hope, Ghana
“When I was pregnant, I didn’t have any hope. What I was told is when I deliver, people would just ignore me because I was young and I was giving birth." Charlotte was 13 when she delivered baby, Dede. With the support of her local church, she has begun to dream again. “When I look into the future, I see that my daughter will grow into a very useful adult who will complete her schooling.” -- Charlotte and her baby, Dede
13. Learning from experience, Honduras
“I stopped going to school when I was 15 and started to sell tortillas,” says Rosemary. “I want [my daughter, Nicole,] to go farther. I want her to study. Girls in this community are getting pregnant at 13 or 15 years old and I don’t want that for my daughters … I was raised by a single mother, so it was difficult for me growing up. Now I see the difference, because my own children have both parents. A father should teach his children to be responsible. He should put food on the table, provide an education and be respectful. A mother should give them good advice and encourage them to study.”
14. The best playmate in the world, Peru
"I love my mum because she always plays with me," says two year old Harold Barboza.
15. Strength in community, Indonesia
“At the [Survival centre] we sit in a group. We tell stories about what has happened at home. One mother shares what she did wrong or if she should have done a different thing. Another mother shares what she did well with the kids. She then shares that with the community who take it as a lesson." -- Nelci Kokene and her baby, Jackson Moreng
16. A love across generations, Togo
“I cannot tell you the things this girl has done for me.” -- Dermane Mariame and her granddaughter, Dzoko Gracia
17. The safest place in the world, Peru
As the rain kept coming and floodwaters swept away her worldly possessions, including her pigs and chickens, Maria gathered her children and hiked to higher land. As they surveyed the devastation, Cristhian, 6, and his siblings knew that in the toughest times, when all else was lost, they could still find comfort in their mother’s arms.
You can come alongside a mum living in poverty by sponsoring a child.
By Zoe Noakes