This Mother's Day, child development charity Compassion is working with Baptist churches in some of the world's poorest regions to support single mums
The Baptist church of Jonc-Dodin in Haiti is just one among thousands of churches offering hope to mothers struggling to raise children alone.
Even before the earthquake, Haiti was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, but the tragedy of 2010 left 500,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of children orphaned or living with just one parent.
The challenges posed to lone parents are exacerbated in poor communities, where a family's limited resources are already stretched to the limit. Without free education or healthcare, and in the absence of social services, women are left to bear the burden of childcare, income generation and housekeeping on their own.
To make matters even worse, the legal status of a wife is not recognised in some parts of the world, meaning that the extended family may seize the belongings and even the home of a man after his death, leaving his widow and children with nothing.
The Baptist church in Jonc-Dodin has long been a beacon of hope in the community, partnering with child development charity Compassion to provide the very poorest children in the region with healthcare, education, food, clothing and social and spiritual support.
Since the earthquake, the need has been critical. 14-year-old Kedson is a sponsored child who lives under the care of his aunt, Paulette. Kedson's father died in the earthquake and his mother works away from home in Port-au-Prince so the teenager lives with his aunt, her five children and two grandchildren.
Currently, the project Kedson attends has 500 sponsored children, but since the earthquake the stress on families, and in particular single mothers, has increased.
In order to reach even more people in the community, the church established a goat-rearing programme. Compassion provided the initial financial support to give female goats to families. When the goats give birth, the families give the kid to another family to extend the impact of the support.
Through this strategy, every family now owns a goat that provides milk for their own consumption, and some they can sell. With the funds from the goat project, Paulette has purchased two pigs and some chickens. She is so thankful for the significant support Compassion has given Kedson to allow her to provide to the needs of the family.
'Today, I can say that, thanks to Compassion, we have a 'bank account' that can feed and serve the family for many years to come,' said Paulette.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 18:50