Educate a woman and you are educating an entire village is an African proverb that highlights the potential of women to be the greatest influencers for change in their families and communities, and yet so many are still denied the chance to develop their gifts and abilities.

She Matters Too is the next step in CBM’s campaign for gender equity, to educate, equip and empower some of the world’s most marginalized girls and women. The first phase focused on improving access to education for girls. Now it’s mom’s turn!

Hawa, a single mother now living in Kenya, shares her story:

I fled war in Somalia after my mom was killed. I too was shot but survived…People who helped me get to Kenya insisted that I marry a relative to show appreciation for saving my life. A few months later, pregnant with our child, my husband divorced me and returned to Somalia. I work hard, but it’s not enough. My daughter and I often skip meals. CBM has really helped me in finding friendship, a group that I can belong to (Self-Help Groups) and skills training. I can make scarves and diras (Somali dresses). I get a share of the group business projects and am encouraged to work harder and stay committed to my group…I am especially grateful for my daughter’s scholarship. If not for CBM, she would not have had this opportunity. God is my inspiration. He always finds a way to help me. I have come from nothing and now have peace.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, on May 8, let’s remember courageous young moms like Hawa around the world. Give a gift in honour or memory of a special woman in your life, or participate in She Matters Too today.