A Mother's Day Thank-You to Hero Moms Everywhere
There are all kinds of hero moms, but they all share a deep love for their children and a fierce desire to see them grow up happy, healthy and safe from harm. This Mother's Day, as you honor the hero moms in your life, remember the mothers who are caring for children amid humanitarian crises and emergencies around the world, with help from UNICEF.
As the war in Ukraine intensified, Olena — above left with her son, Andrei, 6, and daughter, Anastasia, 11 — knew she had to get her children to safety. They took only what they could carry and crossed the border into Romania on April 8, 2022. "No need to feel sorry for some house," Olena said. "There is nothing more important than children."
Working with UNHCR and local authorities and partners, UNICEF set up a network of Blue Dot refugee support centers along key travel routes where mothers and children fleeing the war in Ukraine can find respite, a safe place to play, health and travel information, and other vital services.
Senior Pharmacist Jennifer Boateng was still breastfeeding when she started working at the COVID-19 intensive care unit at Ghana's Greater Accra Regional Hospital in the early days of the pandemic. "I live with my husband, three children and my mother, who is 80 years old. I was truly terrified of contracting the virus and putting my family at risk," she said.
Boateng knew her patients needed her to ensure they received the correct dosage of their medication at the right time, so, to protect her children's health, she made the painful decision to tell her children to stop hugging her when she came home from work. She was elated when the first COVAX consignment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Ghana, because she knew that more vaccinations meant fewer infections, hospitalizations and deaths — and more hugs from her children.
Five-day-old Fatuma Abdulai was born in the Burdhubo site for displaced people in Ethiopia. Her mother, Durran Jaho, is weak and suffers from constant headaches and dizziness. She is breastfeeding her baby, but the tiny girl isn't eating well yet.
Severe drought conditions across the Horn of Africa have increased the number of children facing impacts including acute malnutrition and thirst from 7.25 million to at least 10 million. More than 1.7 million children in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia require urgent treatment for severe acute malnutrition. UNICEF is working across the region to provide lifesaving aid to children like Fatuma.
Marianni brought her 7-month-old daughter, Arianny, to be vaccinated at the UNICEF-supported hospital ship that delivers health care and immunizations to children in Delta Amacuro state, Venezuela.
To ensure that mothers and children from the Warao indigenous population have access to medical care, UNICEF supported the rehabilitation of the hospital ship and two river ambulances. Before the floating hospital existed, mothers in the most remote indigenous communities who were determined to protect their children from vaccine-preventable diseases had to travel five to seven days by boat with their children to reach the nearest health center.
This Mother's Day, honor the loving moms in your life by supporting UNICEF's lifesaving work on behalf of children around the world. Please donate.
Top photo: Pan Ei, 20 months old, and her mother play outside their hostel in A Lal village, Hlaing Thar Yar township, Yangon, Myanmar, on April 4, 2022. © UNICEF/UN0627458/Htet