The shared experience of motherhood transcends cultural and linguistic boundaries, as demonstrated by a special group of women who celebrated Mother’s Day with Settlement Services International (SSI) this month.
The mothers, who are seeking asylum in Australia or living here as refugees, came together for an afternoon of music, dancing, henna and high tea at Lachlan’s Old Government House in Parramatta Park.
The celebration was about acknowledging the importance of a mother’s role in the family, particularly to her children, said SSI’s Humanitarian Settlement Services Service Delivery Manager Yamamah Agha in an address to the event.
“On Mother’s Day we honour the bonds of motherhood and we celebrate our mothers for everything they have done to support and provide for us,” she said.
Ms Agha acknowledged the strength and tenacity of mothers from refugee backgrounds and made a special mention of their resilience adjusting to life in a new country.
“Being a mother in your homeland and being a mother here in Australia can be very different at times. Your children will go to Australian schools, make Australian friends, and become Australian kids. And no doubt, they will all adjust to this differently – possibly even faster than yourselves,” Ms Agha said.
“No matter where you are in the world the role of a mother is always the same; to be there for your children, and Mother’s Day provides a unique opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of all mothers who give so much of themselves to support their children.”
The event was made possible by the efforts of SSI staff and volunteers, including the Heart Dancers, who led the audience on a sound healing session with relaxation, conscious breathing and gentle movements, accompanied by the viola.
The Heart Dancers, who will be performing at the New Beginnings: Refugee Arts and Culture Festival next month, regularly conduct workshops for corporate and social groups, but agreed to do the event free of charge