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Young, single working mother grabs sip from a cup of coffee, the caffine keeps her going as she cares for her two young sons after picking them up form day care, feeding, bathing and getting them ready for bed. They live outside of Washington, DC

Women are the backbone of family and community in many countries, especially in areas of poverty or where the environment has been compromised. Even when their men pull back or leave, women have to carry on to care for theirchildren. The bind of motherhood is so powerful even in the most dire circumstances women find whatever means possible to survive and provide. Theyare more willing to seek help from aid organizations or extended family members or better themselves educationally than their husbands or partners. The care of children is the motivating factor as well as the willingness to be flexible and resourceful. This essay speaks to the examples of many mothers who have worked hard to help their children live to adulthood as well as to the stresses they face. This determination is the common bond between them all.

I've worked in many areas throughout Africa, South American and the United States mainly with women doing stories on health, pre and post natal care of mothers and children as well as general look at families in impoverish situations.  I am continually amazed by the strength and fortitude shown by women who have few resources in their resolve to raise their children to adulthood. Often the male partner is no where in the picture and the women have to rely on extended family or aid organizations.  What amazes me the most is the commonality of committment no matter where these women live where it be the United States or a rural community in Kenya.  The commonality of love and motherhood and their struggles to make it work binds women together which is why I chose to show a range of regions rather than focus down on one.

Borromeo Housing, CRS, Jhpiego, Tejas

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