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April 21, 2015

Inspiring Photos: Celebrating the grace & grit of Mothers around the World.

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Motherhood is Global: This Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating the experiences of motherhood that are shared around the world.

With thanks to our media partner, Vitamin Angels, for sharing such sweet stories for this Mother’s Day!

Big challenges. Small world.

Grace. And Grit.

Those are just two of the words to describe mothers like Katarina (shown below). Katarina lives in a remote area of Guatemala with her husband and seven children. Despite the rain water that floods her humble brick and bamboo home during storms and a diet comprised of plain tortillas, Katarina works tirelessly to care for her children and give them a better future.

We meet mothers like this all over the world.

Walking to the clinic at the break of dawn. Saving money to pay the utility bill. Mothers everywhere face their day-to-day challenges with the same determination to make their families’ lives the best they can be each day while building a strong foundation for a better future.

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For one young mother in Malawi, building a better life for her family actually meant building her own home, brick-by-handmade-brick.

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Necessity is the mother of invention. And mothers can be particularly inventive about finding solutions using the resources at hand. This mom in Bolivia created a handmade playpen for her son out of branches.

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No matter where they live, transforming their houses into warm and loving homes is an art that mothers excel at.

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For all too many mothers, life can be far from easy. In Peru, we’ve met moms living in extremely isolated villages in the Andes at extreme elevations who must hike the rolling hills to reach any outside resources for their children. The site of a monthly traveling medical clinic that distributes vitamins could be miles away. Sometimes a mom must start her journey as early as 3 a.m. to make it back home before night fall.

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Despite the hardships that mothers face in India, a smile is surprisingly easy to come by. In Calcutta, this mother greeted us with delight as we passed by her home that was decorated with freshly hand-washed clothes hanging out dry.

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Because motherhood is a lifelong job, grandmothers pitch in to help. Multiple generations of Mayan women work together weaving intricate and traditional clothing that is sold to support their families.

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A mother’s work is never done and often difficult, but many of the moms we meet approach their daily chores with cheerful resolve.

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From North America to Africa, mothers weather the elements to make ends meet. Here, moms in New York, moms brave freezing temperatures to receive donated food and vitamins.

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In Malawi, torrents of rain are no deterrent for mothers picking up vitamins for their children.

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Moms have a seemingly innate ability to bring happiness and warmth into the most difficult situations.

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Being a new mom can test any woman’s resolve and breastfeeding can be especially challenging in busy or crowded places. A mom in the Philippines found a spot to nurse her baby in a narrow ally, while also holding the prenatal vitamins we gave her.

Wherever they are, moms share a common focus: making a better life for their children. They may face very different challenges, but they handle them with the same dignity and courage—grace and grit. Joined by an uncommon bond, it makes for a small world indeed.

Photos: All images © Matt Dayka/Vitamin Angels

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