Currently (May 2012), through CBM post emergency community empowerment projects, the 38 members of the group have undergone various trainings to strengthen their capacity. (Part of the trainings included learning the importance of immunisation, nutritional needs for their children with disabilities, improved farming techniques and group dynamics.) They have put into practice what they learned from the as part of livelihood support to cater for their food and nutritional needs. They have been working on the shambas (gardens) to grow arrow roots for food. The labor is intense but the women are hard working and would do anything for their children.
Their daily routine includes meeting early in the morning at 8am. They come with their children who cannot be left at home by themselves. They drink the porridge made from arrow roots leaves then do some physical therapy exercises with their children as they were trained by Community Based Rehabilitation
(CBR) workers from SPARK. Then they disperse to their different chores as agreed and as divided amongst themselves. Some will remain with the children while others will be away digging trenches for some of the mothers to plant the arrow roots while others shall be weeding or planting crops on one of the women’s land.
It’s a community affair and everyone is involved on a rotational basis. The group meets once a week for the group activities. When they are not farming usually after the rainy season, weeding and harvest, the groups are busy making soap or coming up with other activities that they may find beneficial to the group.
So what does mother’s day mean exactly for these women? It is taking care of their children with disability and trying to find ways and means of giving them support. Indeed a true heroic act.