In honor of Mother’s Day, May 13, we asked bloggers to share their thoughts on motherhood -- and the importance of caring for children who have experienced the loss of a parent. Every day through Mother’s Day, we will feature a different blogger to remind us to appreciate mothers and care for those who are hurting. Today's post comes from Alise, who has previously contributed to the World Vision Blog during our 12 blogs of Christmas series.
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My children love to visit their grandparents. My husband’s parents live here in town, and they schedule regular sleepovers with the kids. My children go there to eat ice cream and watch movies and spend a night being spoiled.
My parents take each of the kids on a separate vacation. Each child gets to choose a destination, and they spend a few days being treated to a trip with their grandparents.
Our kids hear funny stories about what we were like as children from their grandparents. They find out more about the family history from their grandparents. "Grandparents" and "fun" are interchangeable terms for my kids.
For many children, this is not the case. The gap between here and there is almost unthinkable.
In the newly formed South Sudan, 2-year-old Majong Manywer now lives with his grandmother after an ethnic conflict took the lives of a hundred people in his village, including his mother. He has suffered bullet wounds. This still-nursing toddler lost the person who nurtured him, fed him, and loved him, and was left with only his grandmother to tend to his injuries.
Arop Majok has already done the hard work of raising children, but she must now look after her grandson so that his father can find food. Rather than telling the child funny stories about his mother, she must now face the task of explaining to him that she is gone.
Sadly, this story is becoming the norm. Attacks on women and children have increased, and there are more and more children who are wounded and left without parents.
A World Vision nurse feeds a nutritional supplement to Shilok's daughter, who is suffering from acute malnutrition. (Photo: Michael Arunga/World Vision)
Some 62 miles away, Jolly Shilok Lokwet saw families torn apart by these conflicts. Cattle rustlers raided her village in Tonj East, killing everyone in sight, including women and children. Shilok, her husband, and their five children escaped with nothing but their lives and memories of the slaughter that beset their home.
In the midst of so much sadness and pain, World Vision is a light and a balm. Both Arop and Shilok credit World Vision with saving the lives of their children through the medical attention they were able to provide. They also provide vehicles to transport those stranded to areas where they can receive medical help.
Because they were in the area long before South Sudan became its own country in July 2011, World Vision has been able to provide relief to those who are suffering at the hands of inter-ethnic and armed conflict.
Tomorrow, my kids will get a gumdrop and hug from my husband’s dad. In a couple of weeks, our family will vacation with my parents, where we’ll laugh and eat together as a family.
Tomorrow, Majong will cling to Arop, and she will try to comfort him through the pain of his wounds and the loss of his mother. Shilok will gather with her husband and children and try to rebuild a life after losing everything.
As we approach Mother’s Day, I ask you to consider sponsoring a child who has been left without a parent. We can celebrate our families and the love that we share by extending that love to those who are suffering right now.
These children have been robbed of the fun that our own children know -- but by partnering with World Vision, you can help them continue to know the love of those who remain. We can make the gap between here and there a bit smaller.
Consider sponsoring a child who has lost a parent. Sponsorship will help provide clean water, nutritious food, education, healthcare, and more -- providing a source of stability and hope in the midst of desperate circumstances. You will also have the opportunity to develop a personal, lasting relationship with your sponsored child through cards and letters.
You can also make a one-time gift to our Sudan and South Sudan Relief Fund. Any donation will help us deliver life-saving assistance like nutritious food, clean water, medical care, and more to this troubled part of the world.
Alise is married to her best friend and is the mom to four incredible kids. She loves knitting, writing, playing keyboards in a cover band, and eating soup. You can read her blog at www.alise-write.com.