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A Mother’s Smile

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, we are thankful for the unconditional love, sacrifices and commitment they show each day. Motherhood plays a rich role in keeping the communities that A2S serves together. Irrespective of the everyday struggle that mothers often face, they remain committed to ensuring their children find a path to success. They wake up each day, using the very little at their disposal to challenge the norm that men know best how to build our world. Even in the midst of nothing, mothers often find ways to make sure that life for their children is better.

Stella Aburimen is a mother of three from Nigeria. Like many young women, Stella dreamed of a future in which she was married and raising kids with the man of her dreams. However, Stella became victim of a culture in which the male child is preferred to the female child. After she had three daughters, Hope, Rita and Judith, her husband tossed her out of the house with Judith, who was just six weeks old. With no support and no education, she was on the streets, barely allowed to see Hope and Rita and left to raise Judith alone.

Stella did not give up. She rented a room for herself and Judith and, because she couldn’t afford her own shop, started visiting homes of friends who wanted to have their hair done. Judith is now part of the A2S After School Academy, where she also gets a free hot meal each day, and her mom feels a sigh of relief. At the A2S After School Academy, Judith has found a home, mentors, friends and family, and it is the only thing she talks about each day when she comes home. Stella’s motherly ears are filled with everything Judith learned because unlike before, Judith can now read and write, and she does not have to worry about studying on an empty stomach.

Tossed from her matrimonial home with a six-week-old Judith, barely allowed to see her other children, and living in poverty, Stella found a reason to smile because of A2S programs. A2S is excited to continue joining forces with mothers like Stella to empower their children and find long-term sustainable solutions to everyday struggles.

As most mothers would agree, Stella said, “Seeing Judith every day gives me a reason to live.” To all mothers of our youth at A2S, we respond, they might give you a reason to live but you are the reason why they can breathe. We celebrate you. Join us in helping women like Stella create a life filled with hope and a future for her and her family.

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