Happy Mother’s Day, Mum

Mar 6, 2016

Adam, our Director of Fundraising and Communication, reflects on his recent trip to India, and the role our mothers play in shaping our lives.

During my recent project monitoring visit to India in January, I met a young man called Rahi who reminded me of a few things about family, and more specifically the important role my mum has played in shaping my life.

Rahi was a beneficiary of a Feed the Minds projects in partnership with our local organisation SHARE. He trained in mobile phone repairs, not your traditional vocational training course, but an example of how the work of Feed the Minds is directly linked to the needs of the community and local markets. I am meeting Rahi 2 years on from his training at his new shop, 25 miles from where he trained.  After only two years, he was able to save enough to open his own small business and I am sure you will agree from the below photo, it’s an impressive set up.

Rahi in his shop (SHARE)
Rahi welcomes me to his shop
Rahi helps a customer
Rahi serves a customer

Rahi entered our project during a difficult period in his life. His family had always struggled with money, his mother was ill, his father jobless and an alcoholic and living with 4 generations of his family in a one-room house and he dropped out of school to work at a young age to support his family.

Rahi left school but was clear why he did it: he wanted to support the main inspiration in his life, his mother. Her name is Ranya. He tells me how, despite caring for everyone, with very little money and exceptional challenges in her home life as a result of his father’s erratic behaviour when drunk, his mother remained his biggest supporter, has never let him down and believes in him no matter what. Even when she had cancer, she remained the bedrock of the house and continued to care for everyone. He tells me “Your mother is special, she protects and cares for you always, she kept my family going and I will never forget that, I would not be here today without here.”

When meeting Rahi, it was clear early on he was a great example of the impact of the work you all support as he has started his own business and is saving to build a house, but it also reminded me of just how important and often unnoticed the role our mother’s play in supporting us to achieve our dreams. Although today is the ‘official’ day we celebrate our mothers, it was a Thursday in January when sitting down with Rahi that reminded just how much of my success and strength has come from my mother.

Women, whether mothers or not, are the most important agents of change in breaking the cycle of poverty across the Global South. They are often underrepresented and denied access to education, yet they offer strength and support to so man, providing more than any project any charity could deliver. If I ever needed a reminder of the reason Feed the Minds puts women at the centre of over 90% of our projects, giving them the skills and knowledge to change their own lives and the lives of their families, my 2 hours with Rahi in January did just that.

Celebrate with your mothers today, or remember those mothers that are no longer with us. But if I took one thing from my trip its make up a few more ‘unofficial’ mother’s days and remember how much our mums do for us.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mum.

Rahi wears a ring which has his mother's name on it.
Rahi wears a ring which has his mother’s name on it.
Rahi and his mum, joined by a friend
Rahi and his mum Ranya, joined by a friend