8 Breathtaking Photos of Hardworking Moms Around the World

Being a mom is a big job. From making sure a feisty toddler doesn’t eat rocks to sitting in solace with a hurting teenager, motherhood is intense. Here are eight beautiful photos of hardworking women around the world who exemplify a mother’s love. They face vast challenges yet persevere in working toward, praying for and believing in the best for their children.


A woman wearing a black bowler hat, colorful shawl and traditional Bolivian clothes stands in a wide field, carrying a baby on her back.

This mom lives on the high plains of Bolivia. She is a community leader and carries her child with her wherever she goes — at an elevation of about 12,000 feet! In many places around the world, moms don’t have car seats or strollers, but keep their babies bundled up tight with them.


A woman wearing a blue T-shirt, scarf around her hair and red skirt sits in a pile of rocks with a hammer in hand. A child wearing a red uniform sits on the left and a toddler sits on her knee.

Kadzo is a mom from Kenya who makes a living breaking rocks into gravel to be used in construction. She works 10 hours a day, every day. But for all that labor, she only earns 18 cents per pile of rock. Thankfully, Kadzo’s daughter, Salama, is sponsored. Instead of breaking rocks, Salama dreams of being a teacher, and her mom dreams alongside her.


A woman wearing a colorful skirt with a pink and white shirt kneels in a room, grinding corn on a stone.

This mom in Guatemala grinds corn the traditional way, by hand. Around the world, many moms are responsible for preparing their families’ daily meals and do so without the help of labor-saving devices. In fact, half of the world still relies on biomass for cooking. From gathering water to starting a fire, from grinding grain to preparing the meal, cooking constitutes a considerable part of the day for these women!


A woman wearing a plaid headscarf and black shawl looks to the side. She stands in a dark alley with laundry hanging on the line.

Tigist from Ethiopia is pregnant with her second child, but she has already spent a lifetime caring for others. When she was 14, she had to drop out of school to care for her sister who was ill. She later married her husband, Abebaw, who is paralyzed, and she acts as his primary caregiver.

Though Tigist is used to taking care of everybody else, through Compassion’s Survival Program, she now has a community who can care for her, too.


A woman sits in a wheelchair with her head bowed and hands in the praying position. She is in a dark room with two beds on either side of her.

Ricci is a mom who lives in a dangerous area of Honduras, a country with one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Several years ago, she was shot in the back in a gunfight between gang members and the police. She has been in a wheelchair ever since. Ricci’s husband left her after the accident, leaving her alone to care for their children.

“I’ve always been a hardworking woman. The hardest thing about being in a wheelchair is that I’m not able to do anything,” says Ricci. “I get my strength first from God and second from my kids. I know God is with me, even though I cannot touch Him.”

Dominican Republic

A woman in a white shirt sits in a dark room, looking out the window. She is holding a sleeping child in her lap.

Yurelis is a mother in the Dominican Republic. Besides taking care of her young children and working, she is also going to college to fulfill her dream of graduating from university. Around the world, many women and girls drop out of school after having children, but by staying in school, they can increase their families’ earning power, and thus their ability to care for their children, exponentially.


A woman wearing a long green and white dress sits on a chair with a baby girl in a white dress on her lap. A boy and girl sit on either side of her. They are outside in front of an adobe home.

Houtagni, a mother in Togo, knows both hard work and suffering. She wasn’t always able to provide the care her daughter needed when she was sick. But with the help of sponsors, her children are getting the care and nutrition they need. She gives this advice to moms facing hard times:

“Keep on praying and never give up. Even though the whole world is against you, you should not give up. You should know that God is with your family and they will be all right.”


A woman wearing a patterned skirt and red and green shirt walks down a dirt path with a girl in a white shirt and grey skirt by her side. They are next to a bamboo home and forest.

Norpoe fled fighting in Myanmar about 15 years ago and settled in Thailand. As a single mother, she worked hard to provide for her three children, but they often went hungry. Without citizenship, she can’t find employment or decent pay. But she is receiving help from the local church.

“The happiest time in my life was when we got involved in the [Compassion center] and learned about Christianity. Religion helps me to have more peace, and I have the love and warmth of my brothers and sisters at church.”

This Mother’s Day, we want to honor all the hardworking women around the world striving to create lives of beauty and love for children, no matter the circumstances.

Come alongside a mom in poverty ›

Photos by Ben Adams, Ryan Johnson and Alexander Whittle.

6 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Magda October 1, 2019

    As mothers, we have the privilege to experience a glimpse of God’s unconditional love for His children as we love our children selfishly. Our love for our children doesn’t depend on them just as God’s pure, holy, and true love doesn’t depend on us. What a privilege it is to have been created a woman and each of these beautiful mothers are an example of God’s amazing wisdom and love.

  2. Gina Pearson September 20, 2019

    Amazing women, moms, sisters, wives, and children of God. They are so inspiring and encouraging!

  3. stephen kalibbala May 10, 2019

    Stephen Kalibbala from Uganda

    Great mothers! I really can’t imagine what the world would be without mothers.They are my heroes.They are like

    candles that burn from the North pole to the South pole all trying to provide light to someone.

  4. L Matarazzo May 9, 2019

    These are wonderful, strong women & mothers. It is very humbling to hear what they go through to live and care for their families. Thank you Compassion, for sharing their stories.

  5. Scott Trotter May 9, 2019

    Having seen first hand and heard so many wonderful stories about how Compassion helps children by helping their mothers, I am in awe of a most loving God who continues to bless Compassion. So blessed to know Compassion is making a way for many affluent mothers to reach out to many many children and their mothers. Blessing to all of the mothers this Mother’s Day!

  6. Jessica May 9, 2019

    Good post. I really appreciate the alt text on the photos. Keep up the good work.

    It makes me sad to read that Ricci feels she can no longer do anything. I truly hope, through caring and creative people in her churchor maybe through a disability support group, she can find and develop New ways of doing things. People with disabilities have so much potential. I should know because I am one and also because I work with them. The sadness around disability breaks my heart because life can be challenging, yes, especially in an impoverished situation, but still rewarding as a person with a disability. I must remember to pray for her.

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