Supporting less fortunate mums on Mother’s Day
I totally missed Mother’s Day in the UK this year so I’ll be celebrating my mum in a couple of weeks when it’s Mother’s Day in Mauritius and France. In the run-up to this special day my emails and social media news feeds are filling up with gift suggestions and offers. So I started thinking about what to get for my mum from Mauritius; at the same time Ben has been asking me if there is anything I would like for my Mother’s Day gift this year. And I started thinking about the mums living near us, here in Mauritius.
A couple of months ago I was put in contact with a local NGO, Le Pont du Tamarinier, which works principally to improve the housing in a couple of local areas where families are living in shanty towns. But they also work to help educate the children and adults from these areas, in an aim to improve their lives and their opportunities.
Along with friends of ours here, Ben and I wanted to raise money for this excellent cause and last month we hosted a charity games night at our house for our friends. Everyone paid £20 for the evening and brought their own food and drink for a bring and share. There was a “Who’s Who?” game and a Poker game which raised further money. At the end of our evening we had raised £600 (a fortune for here!) for a group of local women to make progress with their new business: they have been taught how to crochet and do macramé, and are now ready to sell their products to tourists and locals alike. The money we raised is going to help them buy raw materials and other essentials for their business (they are also trained in business and finance to have the best chance of success).
In addition to this Ben and I have been sponsoring a family living in the shanty town a mile or so away from where we live. The lovely mum has 4 children and she works up to 6 days a week, while her children are looked after by her mum or other family members. Life is hard for them as they have no running water, live in huts made of corrugated iron with mud slicks between their homes (remember it rains very heavily here and gets very hot too). Despite all this they are very upbeat, keep themselves clean and their children are exceptionally polite. We help her out by taking two of her children out for activities and to give them, and her, a break for a couple of hours every few weeks.
It was after one of these days when I was taking her kids out that I was running through Mother’s Day ideas for my mum and me. And it hit me like a slap around the face.
Whilst I was thinking about spa treatments, jewellery, a new bag and perfume, here were mums who work their arses off to bring their kids up well, to teach them right from wrong, to put food on the table, to keep their kids clothed and well. In the most difficult of conditions.
So I started wondering whether my mum’s and my Mother’s Day presents this year couldn’t be a gift for these mums for their Mother’s Day. In the same way that through Oxfam you can buy a goat in someone’s name.
I suggested it to the lovely people at the NGO and they loved the idea, so this is what we’re going to do:
- Anyone who wants to donate – no matter how much, and whether for someone’s Mother’s Day or not – can contact me and I’ll let them know how to donate.
- Once we know the amount of money we have, the NGO will work out the best presents we can get for these mums.
- Just before Mother’s Day we will offer the presents to all the mums at the same time. Anyone local who has donated is welcome to come along.
If you would like to be a part of this, no matter how big or small, please do get in touch with me as soon as possible as Mother’s Day is 29th May, so we haven’t got much time!
Please do share this if you know people who could be interested in donating or helping out.
Thank you 🙂