The gift of motherhood is by far the greatest blessing yet to be defined in any human words. A journey that serves as a rebirth and finding of oneself even as they give birth to a new life and chapter
Love has never been captured so aptly than in the eyes of a mother when they are handed their child for the first time… or the peace and tranquility in the little child’s face as they lay in the warm embrace of their mother’s bosom.
Whilst love overflows, motherhood is a journey full of tears, mistakes, sweat, heartbreaks and uncertainty. Every mother will bear witness to days they woke up feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders and second guessed their ability to nurture their little ones. It is a test of patience and resilience.Being expectant is mostly a great blessing to both parents..
Now, imagine a mother with a child who needs that extra care and devotion above the norm. A child born into this world with special needs or in the course of their life contract a chronic disease.
ALLOW ME TO ARTISTICALLY TELL YOU THE TRUE STORY OF THREE RESILIENT WOMEN
Yanayin Lives in a place called Loneliness. He is an unsightly and nerve wrecking character whose sole purpose is to suck the life out of his victims. An uninvited guest always lurking in the shadows, making sure that where his shadow sets, sadness and heartache prevails. His biggest allergen, Love…MARK HIS FACE..
In this story, Yanayin is a representation of health conditions that children (and adults live with). An attempt to give these conditions a face so as to demystify and bring out the misconceptions around them. We shine focus on Cerebral Palsy.
Mama Njoki and Mama Goodness. Women who have dedicated their all to serve and love their children who live with cerebral palsy despite being abandoned by their significant others. Their journeys are a testimony that mothers are indeed the heartbeats on our right side. We captured their grace and boldness in motherhood despite the numerous curve balls life keeps throwing at them.
The three stories wove differently yet the common denominator was at the beginning of their pregnancy journey, the husbands were present and active in their lives. (p.s the man in this photo is only a supporting cast representing the husbands)
Mama Njoki knowing too well her daughter’s vulnerability to child abusers and people who might want to hurt her child, her heart is weary on how to tackle her child’s safety and fending for her, proving an almost impossible balance.
Medication, therapy and healthcare for special needs children is very expensive. A price that the mothers pay dearly for. They told of harrowing stories and the challenges they go through just to make sure their children don’t miss their medication.
THERE IS ART…….THEN THERE IS REALITY
Three Generations, a stream of tears and a swelling faith that one day the sun will rise on their situations. Mama Sandra is a middle aged soft spoken lady. Her high cheek bones a frame of beautifully broken but not defeated. Her youngest child in her arms, her teen pregnant daughter and her old and frail ailing mother slightly shadow over her.
Her birth changed the course of her mother’s life completely as too many people didn’t understand the condition and chose to abandon her. Top on the list was her very own husband; a man she had thought was her greatest friend and confidant. Now her daughter is pregnant at 18 and her mother has a heart condition that requires immediate attention. She however refuses to put on the victim veil and she forges on selflessly knowing that the title mother gives her power to conquer.
Stories that found unity in misery. These women wore their hearts on their sleeves and as they spoke, they told of the struggle to feed their children. They are all casual laborers and the little they earn cannot sustain them and still manage therapy for their cerebral palsy children. They live in deplorable conditions trying to all fit in their little cube shanties. Mama Sandra for Instance has four kids, her mother and herself living in one single room. How much blows can life offer in one lifetime you ask? Well, from their stories we get encouraged that with every blow comes extra grace. They celebrate their little wins and ask for help when the tide gets a tit bit rough. Like they asked for blenders to ease feeding time for their children. Goodness, Njoki and Sandra need to eat, but their food has to be mashed completely to avoid choking risks. Their mothers do it manually but this becomes inefficient at some point especially because as they grow the amount of intake also increases. In our little spaces, we can inspire change and be their little light. If you are wondering how? wonder no more, These ladies need the afore mentioned blenders, diapers, and help with their therapy fees. Each month, CPSK(Cerebral Palsy Society Of Kenya) only charges them a subsidized fee of shs. 800 but this still seems like an impossible amount of money to raise without a steady income.
This was a mesh of emotions but at the end of the day the one emotion that reigned supreme was that of love. Being a mother is a hard task that requires strength, patience and grace but having a child with special needs requires extra. A daily renewal of resilience.The story of mama Goodness, mama Njoki and mama Sandra is a story shared by very many mothers. It is the story of strength; an untold story of silent queens – queens we so easily forget to crown. These women take their children to Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya (CPSK) for occupational therapy or to attend the special school on a daily basis. CPSK and their care givers have ensured these mothers get the social support system that they need, but a lot more can be done if we lent a helping hand. As we celebrate motherhood all around the world, we give a standing ovation to mothers who wear the love of their kids as badges of strength. Those who in their little whispers of prayers at 3 am ask for more grace, more strength and the ability to hide it all under a smile. You are not alone, and your heroism keeps resuscitating humanity in a bleeding world. You indeed heal the world.
This project came to fruition because amazing souls chose to partner with us. We salute you.
@Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya