In Sub-Saharan Africa and I guess all over the world, being a woman comes with a lot of drama but no matter how tough it is, when you look around you there is some woman out there who needs to be encouraged. At age 42, still unmarried and never been a mother, I would be honest enough to say that I sometimes feel like I have a horrible disease but I never let that feeling stop the desire I have to empower women in any way I can. In working with families who have children with special needs, I have noticed that the mothers in such situations have to bear the brunt. Sometimes all they need is someone to be with their child while they find some form of employment. At other times they just need someone to keep an eye on that child while they rush off to the store to get groceries. When I provide one on one or group therapy/sessions, I don't just stop at providing behavioural interventions, I try to make sure that the environment in which the child is, is enabling and mothers have a lot to do with enabling the environment. Sometimes they are the sole breadwinners and they need all the support they can get. Women are designed to crave attention, affirmation and the like to thrive in their personal or professional lives, sometimes all they need is a word of encouragement. I attended a program recently for special needs children where they showcased their cultural identities. I took a picture of one of the children and sent the picture to the mum who could not attend as an inbox message that gesture meant a lot to her. It did because it gave dignity and individuality to her child. I know this because she recently left her marriage and one of the reasons she left was that her ex, gave little or no attention to her child with special needs. It made her realize that someone cared enough about her child to single him out in a positive way and that to her would be like receiving a million dollars.
This story was submitted in response to #WealthofWomen.