What makes your mother great?

Every mother has one thing in common: they would do anything for their children. This Mother’s Day, to honour the courage that mothers around the world show every day we want to shine a light on the stories of two mums who go that little bit further than most.

From left, Syrian refugees Marah, 14, Aya, 16, Amal, 45, and Shatha, 17, pose for a photograph in the family’s shelter in Zaatari refugee camp, Mafraq Governorate, Jordan. 
© UNHCR/David Azia

Meet Amal

Forty-five year old Amal, who was abandoned by her husband, arrived at Za’atari refugee camp in 2013 with her four daughters and son having fled their home in Syria. A firm proponent of education, Amal is an active community member who has done much to encourage families in the camp to send their daughters to school and has used her position as a football coach to tackle the many challenges girls face head on.

Amal is doing her best to lift the spirits of children in the camp, regardless of the uncertainty surrounding their futures. With five kids herself, she has her work cut out for her.

Amal and her soccer army 
© UNHCR/David Azia
“We see that [our mother] struggles, but she uses all her strength to take care of us” Her daughters Aya and Shatha.
Amal and her youngest daughter. Farah, 6. 
© UNHCR/David Azia

UNHCR is on the ground in camps like Za’atari to assist families like Amal’s. This includes providing special protection services for women and children, and ensuring all refugees access to healthcare and safe shelter. UNHCR also coordinates education and livelihood programs to help people develop the skills they need to achieve self-reliance and maintain hope and dignity.

You can help.

Meet Aisha

Life as a refugee was worth the risk for this Somali mother.

The look in her eyes reveals everything — the anguish of a mother who would do anything to keep her children safe and fed.

Aisha © UNHCR/Diana Diaz

Somali refugee Aisha Yussuf Abdi left her farm, walking for three treacherous days to the border of Ethiopia with her seven young children. The family was hungry, thirsty and exhausted when they arrived at Dollo Ado, a UN Refugee Agency reception center in southern Ethiopia.

Despite the risk, Aisha had no choice. It would have been more dangerous to stay.

“I had to leave my husband and parents behind for my children to have a fighting chance to survive.”

Despite grave threats to their safety, refugee mothers like Aisha are strong, resilient and determined to secure their children’s futures.

“All I want is a better life for my children.”

Thanks to Australia for UNHCR donors, Aisha will have the resources she needs to keep her children healthy, safe and fed. Her story is unique, but her family’s situation is not — globally, more than 65 million people have been forced from their homes and the majority of them are children.

You can help

Aisha with her seven children © UNHCR/Diana Diaz