Mothers are truly remarkable, and in today’s ever-changing society, our roles have also evolved, but what has never changed is the unwavering and unconditional love every mother has for her children. Today mothers often take on multiple roles – in the home, in the workplace, in business, in research and development – in every sector. Our mothers nurture us, care for us and in many ways, help shape us into the adults we eventually become.
It is not an easy task, and many mothers, particularly those who may not have a familial support system, are often struggling, and can feel lost and fall into despair.
If you know of a mother who may be experiencing difficulty, whether it is financially or coping with the responsibilities of motherhood, I ask that you reach out to her. While you may not be able to offer professional support, you can lend a sympathetic ear, which can make a difference.
At this time of year, I, too reflect on the impact my own mother has made on my life, and I continue to honour her memory, by not only working to assist women, girls and mothers in need, but to ensure that our children have access to greater opportunities for their development.
Today, it pains me to read news stories of mothers resorting to stealing to be able to care for their babies. This was one of the reasons the Government which I led introduced the baby grant, so that vulnerable mothers would be able to care for their child for the first year of his or her life, which is crucial for proper development.
There is another issue that is of grave concern for me, and that is the ability of families to be able to access to funding for lifesaving surgeries for their children.
My heart bleeds for the parents who were turned away by the Children’s Life Fund, which was set up by the Government which I led.
That fund saved the lives of more than 122 children during my term in office, and every member of my Cabinet contributed to the fund.
This issue has weighed heavily on my mind, and this week, during my contribution to the mid-year Budget review in Parliament, I called on the Government to take immediate steps to review and amend the Children’s Life Fund Act to allow for special cases to be dealt with for children with special circumstances to get the help that they need.
It is my firm belief that a country can only prosper if we take care of our children and our most vulnerable, and if we fail to do this, then we fail to secure the future of our beloved nation.
On this Mother’s Day, it is my hope that my recommendation will be taken on board by the Government.
Take the time this Mother’s Day to celebrate and appreciate all that mothers do, and their many varied and important contributions to family, to our communities, and to our country.
On behalf of the Opposition and on my own behalf, I wish the mothers of our nation a Happy Mother’s Day!
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition