Make-up, high heels or nice clothes do not beauty define. An air-conditioned office, a car or a nice house does not strength define. Strength and beauty lies also in perseverance in the face of barriers put up by culture, and discrimination due to perceived unimportance in society.

Not all professions are prestigious, and many low-income women strive to reach their goals with strength even through crude professions. This is true of the Kayayoo Woman we serve at Kaya ChildCare. The Kayayoo woman works on average 13-hours a day in a profession that is widely perceived as crude and “unbeautiful”. Their strength and perseverance through it, however, is uncontended and their motivating force is the future of their children and the survival of their families.

We at the Centre have over the years witnessed their dedication to navigating a steep learning curve, adjusting, and growing in the knowledge of their children’s development. They have been relentless in pursuing education for their children even with the little resources they have. Per our mission, our focus year-round is entirely on the development of their children. Quarterly mothers’ meetings focus on sharing knowledge about child development, nutrition, and health. Very little attention is given to recognizing and celebrating their strength and beauty as women striving for their goals in a largely patriarchal culture. We took the opportunity on International Women’s Day, with grant support from Empowered to Education, to highlight their strength and beauty and along with them, #ChooseToChallenge the definition of strength and beauty.

We highlighted the IWD’s mission “To shine a spotlight on activity encouraging and uplifting women to pursue goals without bias or barriers”. For the Kayayoo women we serve this was encouraging and uplifting for them, in their pursuit to provide a great foundation of education for their children, whatever it takes.

Check our social media for more on how we marked International women’s month.