As a kid living in the slums of Kibera, I remember our family spending two days without food. My mother was able to get some porridge, but just enough for me and my siblings. Though she was probably starving, I witnessed love in her eyes as my sister and I had it - down to the last sip. I'll never forget that, especially because her journey in life was far from easy.
My mother was just 15 when she had me - a breech baby - in a remote village in Kenya. Born into poverty and with no access to proper healthcare, the odds were stacked high against us. There's only one difference between my story and the stories of countless mothers without access to maternal care: luck.
We were lucky we survived.
I refuse to have "luck" be the determining factor for women and babies living in the slums. We started the Maternal Care and Health Program at SHOFCO to ensure that the women in our communities get the care they need, and together, we can continue to make that happen. It's not too late to join our special Mother's Day Campaign to help women just like my mom.
And, to all of the extraordinary mothers that keep the world turning, gappy Mother's Day!
- Kennedy Odede