MOTHERHOOD can be the most beautiful experience any women can have but it can also be the hardest when she has no one to share the responsibility of parenthood.
Maevalyn Kokoa, 60, has shouldered the load usually carried by two people for more than 30 years.
Back in 1982, Maevalyn’s husband went to Nauru for work as a carpenter, he returned but went back to Nauru the following year and never returned leaving Maeva alone with five children after 16 years of marriage.
With three boys and two girls to raise on her own Maevalyn faced a lot of difficulties. She got work at a garment factory but lasted only a few months before she decided she would try to support her family by fishing and selling her catch at the village market.
“The financial demands of raising children alone on an everyday basis, including school fees and other demands is very hard when money is not enough,” said Maevalyn who had no formal education.
Her sister later helped her find another job and Maevalyn has worked as a house maid for the owner of the Greyleen Electronics since 1984.
“Being an abandoned mother is really heart breaking; there is no chance to share the burden of making tough decisions for children,” said Maeavalyn, a devoted Seventh Day Adventist who hails from Lau in Malaita Province.
“I sometimes feel trapped underneath a mountain of impossibilities but the only thing that I will not forget is to look to God whenever I face challenges and hardships in life.”
Maevalyn said the only thing that mattered to her were her children.
“The small money that I get paid every fortnight is what supports me and my and children,” she said.
“Sometimes the burden feels too much for me but I always do my best to make sure my kids are happy and satisfied with whatever small money I earn.”
Other women might think of remarrying to have someone to help support them and their children but it was not something she considered.
“It is not how you feel about the situation; your anger, your madness is not going to fix anything. It is the strongest heart that you have to keep you going. That is the only thing that matters,” she said.