The celebration of those that brought us into the world and that nurture and care for us throughout our lives is a key rite preserved in most cultures. In America, this rite is celebrated on the most important holiday of all – Mother’s Day. Many of our new neighbors taking refuge in Utah have a streak of celebrating mothers and grandmothers, even promoting them to the head of the household, but these celebrations do not fall on a specific day. As WoW has constantly said, we do not ask our ladies to balance two cultures, but to blend them, the best of both… in light of this, we celebrated our 6th Annual Mother’s Day Celebration at the Bud Bailey Housing Complex on Saturday.The event was well-attended even though rain washed out the initial outdoor venue. Our friends at the Bud Bailey Housing Complex stepped up and opened a space for our use – a real treat for our ladies from all over Salt Lake City to come in from the rain and celebrate together with food and friends.The Mother’s Day event is an opportunity for supporters, volunteers, and other community members to share a meal with our new neighbors and talk about the delicious ethnic potluck food and share in the common loving role they all share as mothers. Kids and mothers mix between the different ethnicities to share in overcoming their common struggles.This year, Women of the World recognized its first Mother of the Year. Known simply as Bebe, which is Congolese for grandmother, Bebe was nominated both by the granddaughter she serves as the caregiver for and by WoW staff for her kindness and her calm in the face of the struggles she continues to overcome. Later that same night, at the Mama Africa Kitoko Fashion Show, Women of the World Founder and Executive Director, Samira Harnish, presented Bebe with an award from the Mama Africa Kontago non-profit as well. Samira also recognized two other women for their contributions in the service of refugees and for their entrepreneurial vision.Women of the World is continuing to survey the mothers for the classes they want to help themselves and their kids achieve their next step in the community and if you are interested in supporting a legal/human rights or economic empowerment class ranking for these women, pleasesend us an email.Women of the World loves to celebrate with its members and there is no greater focus on the courage and care, the kindness and resolve of our ladies than the celebration around their sacrifice for their children. Thank you to all of the refugee mothers that make our lives so much more complete.
This week Women of the World was the guest on Cultural Connections with Nkoyo Iyamba on KSL Radio. Nkoyo is a great friend of Women of the World and continues to broadcast women refugee issues in Utah through her weekly radio program. In this installation, parenting in the refugee community was reviewed with its unique struggles and important benefits. Women of the World President, Samira Harnish, feels strongly about these issues, working to enable women refugees to not only improve their educational, language, and employment opportunities, but also their parental skills in this different culture.Refugee women have a stronger cultural connection to Utah thanks to Women of the World's efforts and the media attention that programs like KSL Radio's Cultural Connections. Please listen to the podcast below and if you like what you here, "like" Nkoyo Iyamba at KSL Radio on Facebook.http://img.ksl.com/audio/2013_05_12_cultural_connections.mp3
Women of the World was featured in a Mother's Day story in the Deseret News. Our founder Samira Harnish and longtime client Reja Modlam talked to Deseret News columnist Cathy Free about Women of the World. This year Women of the World is using the tagline "Women of the World went to the ends of the earth to save their children," a tribute to the courage and ingenuity of these mothers.Women of the World has already celebrated Mother's Day in Sugarhouse Park and is now preparing for its signature annual Fundraiser, The Refugee Fashion Show, on 8 June at 6pm. This event shows the beauty of women and the cultures they come from in a fun event highlighting the elegance and grace of our new neighbors. Tickets are available online.
This Sunday not even a downpour could keep the Women of the World nonprofit organization from celebrating the gifts that each of us has received from our life-giver, the first person we fall in love with in the world -- our mothers. We met in Salt Lake's Sugarhouse Park near the lake and while it was a cold rainy day outside the park, the pavilion that the Women of the World occupied was warm with the love of over 50 mothers, their children, and their families.Women of the Women, whose mission is to support women of all nations in achieving their dreams, sponsored this event complete with a potluck and live music. Mothers cooked for other mothers sharing dishes that had been passed down through matriarchal lines for generations and in many different languages. Kids ran shared their stories of what they cooked for their moms at breakfast and how even their most experimental food was appreciated. Live music shared the hardship and the joy, the love and the loss of Iran, Iraq, and Africa.
Women of the World would like to thank all of the attendees especially those mothers who took time out of their day to cook and celebrate with other mothers in the universal celebration of the special women that give us life and whose love gives us meaning.