Tearfund mums stand tall

Pakuranga’s Bex Jeffery and husband Eric have three children – Caleb (9), Micah (almost 8) and Ethan (6). Photo supplied

Tearfund and Compassion International interviewed 12 women from around the world about their experiences with Covid-19 for International Women’s Day on Monday March 8. One was from Pakuranga

As quarantine measures shut schools and day-care facilities, women often shoulder the burden of balancing work with childcare and home-schooling.

Social distancing deprives them of the support they could normally lean upon. But women are far from defeated.

This International Women’s Day, Tearfund wanted to honour this strength.

They teamed up with Tearfund/Compassion to invite 12 women, aged 18 to 91, all connected by the beauty of sponsorship, to sit for a portrait and a conversation. In the midst of challenge, their strength is undeniable. Their resilience is inspiring. Who are these women? Take a look. They are all around us.

Pakuranga’s Bex Jeffery was a Kiwi Mum of three lively boys, living and working in Sudan in early 2020.

But when the family went into the desert for a week-long holiday to view the pyramids, they could never imagine what would happen when they re-emerged – more than 280 missed messages, countless calls, the airport closed and a world in lockdown.

Bex, 40, is an archaeologist and a teacher, as is her Canadian husband. Eric, and they have three children – Caleb (9), Micah (almost 8) and Ethan (6).

“We’ve been living abroad for the last year and we’ve come home unexpectedly,” she said.

In honour of International Women’s Day on Monday March 8, a group of photojournalists from around the took portrait images of women and interviewed each of them about their individual experiences with Covid.

“They show us the names and faces behind the statistics and inspire connection and empathy,” a Tearfund spokesperson said.

“The photos are beautiful and the age range was 18-91 years. The women come from across the planet all the way from Bangladesh to Burkina Faso to Canada and Ecuador and back home to good old New Zealand.

Bex explains: “Our Kiwi family was teaching and living in Sudan last year when we decided to head into the desert for a week-long holiday to view the pyramids.

“When we came back, we had over 280 missed messages, countless calls, the airport was closed and the world was in lockdown. Covid showed us how resilient our family was.

“Now that we’re back in New Zealand, I think isolation was tough for mums because we really miss that social interaction and the simple pleasures like the chance to have coffee with a friend.

“I’m a teacher so I knew how to teach my kids at home but for all my friends that they weren’t teachers, that’s a huge task to put on parents.”