We’ve known Mariam for a couple of years now but really got to know her through our Nutrition mini-group this year. A Muslim mother from Banda community, her daughter was malnourished and needed help. Happily through assisting the family with nutritious food packages and through teaching Mariam about eating a balanced diet her daughter is restored to health and growing well. When she heard about the Social Champion programme and being able to give something back to the community, she was eager to take part. “As someone who’s been served by Every Life, I feel like my role as a social champion is to show people that their lives really can change for the better. It’s not just theory.”
Even the relationship we built with Mariam made a huge difference in her life. “It’s not just about the service or benefits Every Life gave us – like the nutritional support they got me when I didn’t have food to feed my ailing child, or the teachings I received from the champion’s program – but the emotional support… I never had anybody that cared whether I was struggling… not even my very own husband who spent most of his time on drugs. They not only cared, they were willing to help me figure out what to do about it.”
Through her own experience, Mariam has built an enduring commitment to helping others and strengthening the relationships within her own family. In fact, in the coming year, Mariam wants to become a peer leader for Women Programs in Banda slum and loves to help coordinate anti-substance abuse groups within her community! She also took part in our recent Child Protection campaign; encouraging kids and helping parents see the value and potential in their children as well as how to care for them best. Mariam sees herself as an advocate. Always willing to speak out against stereotyping or mistreating women or children, Mariam says, “I try to be a strong friend and mother. I don’t stay silent, I stand up, and I encourage others to stand up for themselves. It’s so important to me that people feel safe and able to speak up.”
Mariam and the rest of the Social Champions help share the values of love and relationship which are the foundation to all we do in the local communities. Strong relationships build a truly caring community.
By joining in with our Christmas campaign, Families Shine Brighter Together, you can help us restore and strengthen families this season and raise up more Champions like Mariam to shine with hope in their communities.