Moms around the world filled countless roles this year. Overnight, they became homeschool teachers, primary earners, everyday nurturers, fierce advocates, health workers for their families. Their heroics often occur behind closed doors, offscreen, late at night, up with a child.
This Mother’s Day, we celebrate the incredible contributions of all moms everywhere – from the everyday love they give to the many ways they show their support.
The Will to Live
How one Balinese woodcarver discovered renewed strength through her children and channeled it into her exceptional art.
Meet Eka from Bali
When it happened, Eka’s daughter was three years old. Her son had been born only ten days earlier. Eka’s husband, Putra Suteja, had fought a year-long battle against lung cancer, living only long enough to welcome his new son into the world. After his passing, Eka’s heart was broken and she fell into deep sadness. “I saw no future,” she says.
It was the memory of her deceased husband, a skilled artisan who loved to carve coconut shells and develop new styles with his wife, that sent Eka back to her workshop. She herself had learned carving at a young age from her father, where he would initiate the sculptures and Eka and her family would finish them. Carrying on this tradition seemed like the most honest way to honor her family and the legacy of her husband.
“I never expected that I would be a single parent,” she says. In those days, life felt cruel and unfair. Yet it was the sight of her children that kept her going. “Every time I saw their innocent faces, I felt something heavy inside my heart lighten up my spirit.”
Today Eka expresses her deep gratitude — for the resilience of her family and the strength of her business. “I can’t believe I have passed the dark-cloudy times, and now I can focus on my children’s future, to provide them better education and life. Thanks to Novica, I can keep working hard so I can feed my children, pay their school fees, and also save for their future.”
She does not hesitate when asked what keeps her going. “My children are my biggest motivation to work and to move on. Even though now I am alone, I always keep my spirit up and go on strong for my children. Thanks to them I do not falter, and thanks to all of you for always supporting me.”
This Mother’s Day, we honor women like Eka, who face down life’s tremendous challenges, grope their way through the darkness, and help create a world of light along the way.