In photos: African women who have inspired me

For International Women’s Day on March 8, we asked several ONE Moms friends to send us a photo along with a caption of a woman who has left an indelible mark on them. The images and words below beautifully capture the challenges and successes, of women – of their strength, resilience and love.

Bead for Life

Devin Hibbard, CEO and Co-founder, BeadforLife:
“Namuganza Peace lives in a rural part of Uganda, working hard to change her life- not only by creating recycled paper beads, but by running several businesses to support her six children. She has a coffee garden, a rice field and she owns several cows and sells milk for income. When she is not working hard at her businesses, she works meticulously rolling paper beads late into most evenings. Peace is an example of the potential a woman has when empowered.” Photo credit: Thomas White/Bead for Life.

Maines

Lindsay Maines, Rock and Roll Mama“One of the incredible women of Amani Ya Juu, Kenya creating hope for her future with her hands.”  Photo credit: Lindsay Maines.

Asha Dornfest

Asha Dornfest, Parent Hacks:  “Our lives couldn’t be more different — she in Ethiopia, me in Portland, Oregon, USA — but our conversation was about what we shared: the desire to care for our children and watch them grow up healthy and strong.”

Gaby Dalkin

Gaby Dalkin, What’s Gaby Cooking:  “Mulu is one of the most kind and beautiful women I’ve ever met. She’s generous, welcoming, and loving and you can see it all in her eyes!”

Erin Loechner

Erin Loechner, Clementine Daily“This is Bethlehem, who has a smile as wide as the list of dreams that await her.” Photo credit: Shannon Martin.

Jen Burden

Jen Burden, World Moms Blog“This is my favorite photo from my trip to Uganda with Shot@Life! This girl from Mumbende was so polite and bashful. She reminded me of my little girls, and I was so glad that we were there to see that her community was receiving the life-saving vaccines they needed.”

CC Chapman

C.C. Chapman: “I saw hope in the eyes of this mother at Princess Marie Louise Hospital for her child who hopefully wouldn’t have to battle severe malnutrition in the future.”  Photo credit: C.C. Chapman.

Elizabeth Atalay

Elizabeth Atalay, documama“When I was in Johannesburg South Africa last year with Global Team of 200 I took this photo of this woman who lived in the courtyard where Nelson Mandela had lived in Johannesburg in 1940, when he had first moved away from home. She graciously allowed us to visit the courtyard, located in Alexandra Township. The tiny homes lining it hold as many as 12 families with one shared shower stall and latrine between them. Despite her stoic pose here she had smiled widely when I showed her the photo I had taken of her. I thought she must have some amazing tales to tell.”  Photo credit: Elizabeth Atalay.

beadforlife

Devin Hibbard, CEO and Co-founder, BeadforLife: “Nakaziba Jamila works in Iganga where she works tirelessly raising eight children as a single mom and running a restaurant she opened after joining BeadforLife. Her daughter Rukia has been suffering from a heart condition and she had not been able to afford the appropriate medication. As a member of BeadforLife’s Tusubola Group, Jamila is filled with optimism knowing her hard work is paying off and her daughter Rukia is receiving treatment for her heart condition.” (Tusubola means “yes we can”.) Photo credit: Thomas White. 

Barrett Ward

Barrett Ward, Founder, fashionABLE: “When we started fashionABLE, I met the first three women that would be weaving, and one of them was a woman named Meselu. I loved that her gentle spirit also came with a deep sense of confidence, and the strength of a mother.”

When we invest in women, we invest in society as a whole.” – Julia Wiklander, founder & executive director Girlsglobe.org.

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Have you met a woman who’s inspired you on your travels? Share a photo on the ONE Moms Facebook page.