A Mother's Day with (Extra) Meaning
Each May, much of the United States celebrates Mother's Day- a holiday typically bringing to mind Hallmark cards, bouquets of flowers, or boxes of chocolate. In Palestine, Mother's Day falls a bit earlier on March 21st- and at TYO, it's much more than a celebration with sweets and gifts. It's a time to honor the immense role of mothers in the community, understand the special responsibility of women to better society, and take a moment to appreciate self-worth.
So instead of catchy sentiments on cards, members of The Women's Group heard from local doctors and nurses about the importance of "healthy mom, healthy child", and the need to take preventative health action as a means of valuing and caring for themselves. Joined by partners at the Palestinian Family Protection and Planning Association and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, women were briefed on various types of cancers impacting females, such as breast and cervical cancer, and spent time discussing their questions, concerns, and fears with specialists. To turn their new knowledge into action, women had the opportunity to visit a Mobile Clinic at TYO for cancer screenings, o participate in an Open Day for TYO at a local health center. While this not only provided women with important information, it also emphasized TYO's mission of developing healthy moms who respect and value their bodies- which in turn creates healthy children and families.
Yet we didn't forgo cards and kind messages, entirely- women took time to write messages about why they are proud to be a mother, or why they believe mothers are strong in their communities. The activity had a fun twist, as women entered a photo-booth setting to permanently capture an image of themselves with their positive messages about their identities as mothers, which were crafted into cards they could take home.
While this week was extra special in The Women's Group, it wasn't entirely different from our daily work, as we hope to turn each day into one where women and mothers are honored- and honor themselves- for their contributions to the next generation of Nablus. At TYO, we deeply value the impact that mothers are making to better the lives of their daughters and sons- and encourage them to place that same effort in appreciating themselves!
-Cayce, Women's Empowerment Coordinator