The common factor

The common factor

Where a woman lives can determine some of her experiences: whether or not she will attend school, gain meaningful employment, or access pre-natal care. But even in the face of geographical and cultural differences, there are things that all mothers share.

I was able to visit Christian Horizons Global programs in Haiti, Nicaragua, and Ethiopia. I met so many beautiful children and their families. I heard stories first-hand from families whose lives completely changed after getting involved with a local Christian Horizons Global savings and lending program. Again and again, I was shown that the women and mothers in each community held influence. They were the ones starting small businesses, making sure their kids could attend school, and providing food for the family. And yet globally, women still have fewer rights than men.

When traveling internationally, I am very aware of my privilege. I am a well-educated, white woman living in Canada. I am also a new mom. And there is nothing quite as humbling as bringing a child into this world. Mothers everywhere have this secret, shared experience, and there is nothing else like it.

Motherhood levels the playing field, but it doesn’t mean that mothers all share the same experience. I’ll never truly know another woman’s struggle, but I can choose to hear her story, to cheer her on in her successes, and ache with her in her sorrows.

This issue celebrates some of the women and mothers who have inspired us as they’ve shared their stories. You’ll read about Yeshi, a determined and successful mom who has built a different life for her daughters, one that will include the education that she never had access to.

Satina, an intelligent young woman in a rural community, continues to encounter barriers as a woman seeking further education. Ann, a Canadian woman, shares why she volunteers for Christian Horizons Global, and how we can each play our part to defeat the “Goliaths” in our world.

Like Sully in Guatemala, I want my children to grow up with a broad understanding that people have all different types of abilities. At 15 months old, my son Desmond has grown to love riding on his Grandpa’s lap as they speed around the house in my dad’s power wheelchair. As his mother, I have the opportunity to shape his worldview as one that welcomes all people.

As you read the stories of these women, be encouraged and inspired. Take a moment to think of a woman in your life that you admire and respect, and reflect on how she has used her influence for good in her life. Happy mother’s day to all mothers and mother-figures.

Krista O’Brien

Communication Strategies Manager