Mother is the foundation of the family, and therefore Muslim Women’s Associations’ Linking Hearts Support Service decided to celebrate mother in all her forms with the Celebrating Mothers Linking Hearts Morning Tea on the morning of Friday 12 May 2017. 

Linking Hearts, officially known as Canterbury Bankstown Multicultural Homelessness and Domestic Violence Support Service, is the primary provider of CALD specific services for families, including men, women and children in relation to homelessness and DV support in the Sydney region.

Understandably, Linking Hearts sees many people come through the service, and a distinguishing factor of all families, is the role that the mother provides in guiding herself and her family towards support, strength and empowerment.

For this reason, and due to the endless strength of the resilient women that come through the Linking Hearts service, the Linking Hearts team decided to hold an event that would truly celebrate them, their efforts, their struggles, as well as their achievements, and how far they have come in all aspects of their lives.

The Morning Tea was enjoyed by over 40 women and children, all of whom are at different stages of life.

There were women who had only been with Linking Hearts for a few days, having escaped violent relationships, and seeking safety and support with Linking Hearts.

And there were women who had been with Linking Hearts for over two years, who are now confident in who they are and the direction that their life is headed.

It was these women, who can now acknowledge the pain they have gone through and the strength that they have, who were able to provide inspiration and encouragement to the women who are just starting to come out of the depths of pain, confusion, and struggle.

The morning was made up of a few presentations aimed at acknowledging the strength and resilience of all the women present.

The women were also honoured to meet and interact with Sophie Cotsis, Member for Canterbury, who spoke words of strength and appreciation.

The women were gifted with a number of carefully chosen items as a gesture of appreciation and acknowledgement.

These included special care packages that had been put together by MWA’s SAYIT Girls Youth Group, where girls aged between 6 and 16 years old spent a whole term, designing bags, making special items, collating useful products, and designing and writing their own cards, to be presented to women and children who were facing or had faced adversity due to domestic violence and/or homelessness.

The cards brought smiles as well as tears to the faces of the women, with messages like “life needs you”, “just have faith in yourself”, and “you are special” being lifted off the pages as the women read them through tears in their eyes and smiles shining on their faces.

The women were also gifted with an individual red rose enveloped in black paper, and as one of the women put it, these roses represented the light blooming from the darkness.

The women reflected on how the roses signified the darkness of the life that they were in but how now they were headed towards a beautiful bright future.

The roses were kindly donated by Michael Lavilles, CEO of Beyond Travel in Surry Hills, who wanted to extend a gesture of appreciation to some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

It was truly a morning of love, appreciation, kindness and strength as these resilient women gathered to be themselves without fear, and acknowledge the inner strength that they have displayed.

All of the Linking Hearts team were left inspired by these women and motivated to continue supporting the people in the community with respect, love, and compassion.