Mother’s Day brings to mind the many challenges that women face raising children in extreme poverty. I think about watching your child die of an illness that would be easily treated in the U.S., where I live (although even here, not everyone is guaranteed excellent medical care).
A month ago I became a grandparent for the first time. My granddaughter Rosalee was born in our home next to my son’s farm, but she and her mother, Anna, had access to emergency care if they needed it. Rosalee went to a family physician who examined her for jaundice and cataracts, as well as a number of other problems that could be treated easily, but which could be debilitating or even lethal if left untreated. If Rosalee had been born to a mother living in extreme poverty, she would not have access to this preventative care. And add to that the very real possibilities of all sorts of other daily risks, such as being bitten by a malaria-carrying mosquito if she did not have an insecticide-treated bed net. Most of the global deaths from malaria are among children under five and pregnant women.
In this newsletter, we have two excellent articles about interventions that can transform the lives of women in poverty, including those that want to be mothers and those that are forced to become wives and mothers at far too young an age. I urge everyone to read them and think about honoring all mothers by donating to one of the many organizations that support women living in extreme poverty. And to all you mothers out there — Happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy the day that you deserve to celebrate, because raising children is hard enough even when one doesn’t live in extreme poverty.
Do Good. Feel Good.