Tribute to my Mom

Kerri, brave enough to bungy jump, brave enough to run the half marathon on the Great Wall of China to raise money to build a kindergarten classroom. http://www.backabuddy.co.za/china
Kerri, brave enough to bungy jump, brave enough to run the half marathon on the Great Wall of China to raise money to build a kindergarten classroom. http://www.backabuddy.co.za/china
My Mom, Vivienne Owen, Christmas 2008
My Mom, Vivienne Owen, Christmas 2008
A little girl with serious disabilities, now getting an education due to my Mom
A little girl with serious disabilities, now getting an education due to my Mom
A little boy with special needs with Christmas presents at a Christmas party organised by my Mom.
A little boy with special needs with Christmas presents at a Christmas party organised by my Mom.
My Mom at one of the Christmas parties of 2006, for disadvantaged children in the townships.
My Mom at one of the Christmas parties of 2006, for disadvantaged children in the townships.

Hermanus Rainbow Trust

My Mom is one of those, that can turn bad situations around and make them into a success. Through the years, I have seen her work herself to almost breaking point to get her Dancing Schools become a household name. She took a small poultry business and turned it into the best one around at the time, so that the chicken brand was a household name in the province we stayed. She bought a struggling coffee shop and built it up so that Saturday and Sunday mornings, there would be long queues outside as people were prepared to wait to get a table. Mom made many sacrifices, one being, she wasn't around that much to watch us all growing up. Her first two marriages failed. However, her hard work and brillance at organising and entertaining gave us a great example of what to do if we wanted to get ahead. As a result, I think all her children are good organisers and entertainers.

When Mom reached what should have been retirement age, she redecorated the house and then looked around for something to do. Coffee morning and bridge clubs weren't her style, and she decided to get a group of her friends together and teach some of the black women in the township some sewing skills so that they could make items to sell to support their families. My Mom soon realised, that the children of these women were not receiving any preschool education at all. So, she got together a group of friends and started a charity to raise money to build preschool and kindergarten classrooms for children in disadvantaged communities in the townships near where she stayed.

After setting up classrooms, Mom realised that the classes needed teachers, so she set in place a program so that local women could be trained as teachers. Then she realised that the children were starving, and many were lucky to get one meal a day. She started a sponsor-a-child program, whereby people sent money each month which was used to feed the children and clothe them and pay their school fees. As the AIDS epidemic swept through the townships, Mom saw that there were many AIDS orphans being cared for by elderly grandparents, so she started a Circle of Hope which provided support for vulnerable children. Mom was shocked to discover, that there were children aged between 10-14, caring for their siblings with no adults present. The parents had either died, or moved on and left them behind. With AIDS such a big problem in Southern Africa, many AIDS sufferers are left to die alone in their rooms with nobody to care for them. Mom started a 'home visit' service, whereby home helpers go in and help the AIDS patients and she then employed a driver to take them to the clinic for regular check-ups. Then Mom saw that children with special needs weren't getting any support, so she had some of the classes adapted for children with special needs. My Mom, Vivienne Owen, looked at the townships around her and saw what was lacking and did something about it to make a difference in the lives of people devastated by poverty and AIDS.

Her charity, the Hermanus Rainbow Trust, has become a registered NGO. It employs teachers, drivers, home care helpers, social workers, occupational therapists, nurses. All money raised goes into feeding and clothing and setting up kindergarten classes for the children. Most of the admin costs for running the charity come from my Mom's own pocket. For the past year, my Mom has been very sick and often bedridden for days on end. All that keeps her going, is her dream and desire to some how make a difference in the lives of these children. Luckily, she has some really good people working for her who have been able to continue the charity and watch it grow while my Mom has battled with her health.

My daughter, Kerri, is collecting sponsorships to run the Great Wall Half Marathon in China in May 2009. She has never run a marathon in her life, but this is her way of raising money for the Hermanus Rainbow Trust. All money raised, will go to setting up another much-needed kindergarten classroom with wheelchair access for special needs children. She is trying to raise $2000 or R20 000. My Mom, has inspired us all to put back into the world, what we have taken out. You go Mom! You rock!

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Comments 78 comments

C. C. Riter 7 years ago

This is a great tribute to your mother cindy. How sweet she is and you too. Seems like you have taken after her too. wonderful pictures. I wish the best for your Mom. thanks for sharing, and now i fianlly know your Nation of birth. hmmm very interesting.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

lol, now why would my nation of birth be interesting? Thanks CC, for recognising what a star my Mom is!


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Wow!! What a wonderful tribute and you should have a place set up where people can sponsor you.:)


sharrie69 profile image

sharrie69 7 years ago from Trinidad (an island in the Caribbean)

Awesome story. Awesome mom..goes to show how just one person can make a huge difference.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks AE, if you look at the website under the photo of my daughter, Kerri, or click on the link for her Great Wall Sponsorship event, it takes you to a secure online charity website where people can donate with their credit cards!


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Sharrie, my Mom has been quite inspirational!


hairy A.S.S. 7 years ago

Crikey Cindy your mum sure is a bonza Sheila. They shoud make her a night or a saint or somfin. Wodaya reckon?


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Yeah, reckon she could become a saint! lets have a pint of VB to celebrate her sainthood!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Hi cindy I agree with everyone and I think hairy ass , that this is a beautiful and fitting tribute to your mum.

And please pass on to her that your adopted family at Hubpages is wishing her well in her health problems.

Cheers on the VB.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Agulpes, hopefully someone in my family will show her this hub!


hairy A.S.S. 7 years ago

In that case I betta watch me language in front of a lady.

But what the hell I bet if she's like you ,she's got a beaut sense of humor.

Special message to Viv. (hope you don't mind me gettin friendly seein its the first time we have met.)

heres a big bear hug from a hairy ass (oops sorry mum) I meant to say Aussie Sheep Shearer. (((((( HUG))))))))

 


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

lol hahaha that will give her a laugh! I have 5 brothers so she's quite familiar with male humour lol


hairy A.S.S. 7 years ago

Crikey cindy , ive got 5 brothers two, doya think we might be related?


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Hey, maybe you're my brother! Hey bro, g'day!


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

Now I see the essence of your spirit and inspiration. I hope for better health for your mom.


hairy A.S.S. 7 years ago

OMG i think shes got it !

now say this " the rayns in spayn fawl maynly in the playns "


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

Cindy - What a wonderful tribute to an amazing woman!!


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

How don't know how some people have the energy, patience and resolve. I truly admire your mom for having that mojo to get up and start changing the world. amazing.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks TP, Jerilee and TM! My Mom is amazing, very humble and unassuming, but she has mojo by the truck full!


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Your mother is beautiful,you are so much like her it's amazing.I've forgotten what my mother looks like it's been that long. Everytime my heart breaks,over the absence of her affection,I just look to my father, he is the most beautiful human being, I just wish he was closer.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks BP. Have you tried to find your Mom?


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

Stories like these inspire us to get out of ourselves and think of others. Lovely tribute Cindy.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Feline!


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Yes she is only 2 hours away she has been there for the last ten years,she knows where I am too, but ....it says it all

I was the accident I have been told from a child so........

Haha look at your avatar oh golly gush you are such a spunk Cindy LMAO


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Bitch, not you, but the woman who gave birth to you!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

What a remarkable woman your mom was, and what a great tribute! That is a lot of accomplishment for one person. Good one!


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Sounds like a nice family tree. Lovely tribute SinDivine!

Btw, what is your avatar? I ask because I don't know if I should be scared or not! LOL :D


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall

Cindy, your mum is a star 


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

wonderful -- makes me ashamed i don't do more. What a great lady.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Christoph, Teresa and Hawkes for the kind comments. My Mom often puts me to shame with all she does.

Cris, my avatar, sometimes playing with photobooth on the mac is fun!


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA

What a beautiful tribute to your mother! This had me with tears in my eyes... It sounds like she was a wonderful and inspirational woman!


mdawson17 7 years ago

This was such a wonderful tribute to your Mother! I am advocate of many years and can say it is people like your Mother that has inspired me to continue to do the service work that I do! I pray that all goes well for your sister and I wish her the best of luck!! I also pray for your mother she is such a wonderful caring and giving person! I pray that she is blessed with good health!


TheSandman 7 years ago

wonderful tribute beautiful story


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks EM, Mdawson and Sandman! have another emergency at the moment, my son has popped his shoulder in a rugby game, so we have to fly to Hong Kong!


druneric profile image

druneric 7 years ago from Ohio

Awsome Mom AND daughter. Wow! I think I'm speechless.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Druneric, you shouldn't be speechless! lol


shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago

Such a great Mom who deserves a great Hub and good luck to Kerri.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Shamel! Hope she manages to raise the sponsorship!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

She sounds fantastic, and amazing and inspiring woman. You are a lucky daughter! I hope she isn't too ill, and recovers soon.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Londongirl, she is an amazing woman!


bhowell profile image

bhowell 7 years ago

Cindy, what a wonderful tribute to your mom! I lost mine about two years ago due to Altzheimer's. Much like your mom, my mother spent her whole life giving to others and I miss her so much. I love your writing...keep em' coming!


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Bhowell. Sorry about your mum, Altzheimers is not so nice! I worked in a Dementia Care unit for a while and it was so sad.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

Cindy what can I say ? That was just awesome ! I rank her right there with Mother Theresa .


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Tony! Now if some people can just donate money towards building that classroom, then my daughter won't be killing herself on that Great Wall for nothing lol


pgrundy 7 years ago

Wow, what an amazing woman. You look just like her too! This is so inspiring. I can understand why you are proud of her.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Okay, crying. That is so awesome, Cindy! I'm proud of her too! What an inspiration.


aniketgore profile image

aniketgore 7 years ago from India

Mother is treasure.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Pgrundy, Frieda and Aniketgore - although my Mom is special, I think most Moms have done something special and often we take them for granted.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Cindy, your mom is a one-woman UN!  How lucky for those villagers that she wasn't a "coffee morning, afternoon bridge" type.  The world is so much better for having her and you and your daughter in it.

Hope your son is doing well after popping his shoulder.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Jama, at Hong Kong airport now having a coffee in the business lounge waiting to fly home.


djrana0 profile image

djrana0 7 years ago from Dhaka,Mirpur-10,Bangladesh

good


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Wow, your Mom is really isnspiring and special lady and you are as well. Thumbs up for great Hub of yours.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Djrana and Tatjana. My mom is very special, can't wait to see her in June!


brad4l profile image

brad4l 7 years ago from USA

Your mother sounds like an incredibly caring and loving woman. I think this kind of compassion and selflessness  is very important and makes the world a much better place.

I don't know if I would be brave enough to go bungy jumping like your daughter though. That has always freaked me out ;)


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Brad, she has achieved some pretty amazing stuff but works far too hard and makes us worry about her.


gr8archer45 profile image

gr8archer45 7 years ago from Pakistan

This is the sweetest hub I've ever come across to! Way to go Cindy, m sure ur mom is really really proud of u & you daughter :)


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks G, and my mom loves cheesecake as well!


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana

Thumbs up to you and Mom!


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Alexis! And thanks for becoming my fan!


hglick profile image

hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

Cindy,

Very nice Hub. I lost my mom 11/08 to congestive heart failure. She was also always sacrificing her time and doing things for others even though many of them never appreciated it. I thank you for bringing back many of those good memories.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Hgllck, yeah my mom has been back at the doctors, now they're investigating something with a gastroscopy. It is worrying for me. I'm pleased this brought back some good memories for you.


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA

Like mother like daughter...lol You both are great! You both rule!

My mother also was always an example to me and now to my son. It is so important when parents can give a pass in life to their children.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

I AGREE, WE SHOULD BE ROLE-MODELS TO OUR KIDS, SORRY AM PUTTING IN GRADES IN MY REPORTS AND HAVE CAPS LOCK ON, DON'T MEAN TO APPEAR AS IF I AM SHOUTING


BEAUTYBABE profile image

BEAUTYBABE 6 years ago from QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA.

Hi Cindy,

I just read this incredible warm, and touching tribute to your mother. She must have a pocket and heart as big and deep as the Grand Canyon to have been able to do what she has. She is so generous with both her heart and her time, not to mention money, and with no regard to her own health, she has taken these children who have been stricken with AIDS and loved them as her own. Now she has her Charity, HERMANUS RAINBOW TRUST, such a wonderful woman, it is no wonder you are so very proud of her, just as your love for her shows through so beautifully in this lovely tribute Cindy. How did your daughter go in the Marathon, I would be very intersted to know? Your family is truly amazing, no doubt about it. Love Beautybabe x


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 6 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Beautybabe, she is an incredible woman! My daughter did well in the great Wall Marathon! I wrote a hub about it!


Creaminizer23 profile image

Creaminizer23 6 years ago from New York, Usa

interesting hub


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 6 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Creamin


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

What an inspiring story and a beautiful tribute to a lovely lady! Thanks for sharing this. I am always so impressed by people who choose to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. Great, wonderful stuff. I have a very good friend who has some experience in community work living in Hermanus and would like to put him in touch with your mum's NGO. Will email him the link at least.

Love and peace

Tony


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 6 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Tony, my Mom is really struggling with her health at the moment but is determined that the Hermanus rainbow Trust keeps going. She would appreciate any help, I know they have just employed a fundraiser to take away some of the burden and stress off her shoulders. If your friend is in Hermanus, I'm sure he would have heard of the Hermanus Rainbow Trust!


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia

Hi Cindyvine,

your mother is amazing. it is really inspiring and special lady. no wonder you are very proud of your mother.

I pray that your mother get better health.

this is a great tribute to a lovely lady.

Thumbs up for great Hubs.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 6 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Febriedethan, happy 2010 to you! Thanks for your wishes for my Mom's health, I also am holding thumbs for it to improve.


couponalbum profile image

couponalbum 6 years ago from Sunnyvale, CA

Wow! This is really amazing.What a wonderful tribute cindy! Your mother is really amazing. Since mother's day is fast approaching, have you decided of a gift for her. Why not gift her a diamond jewelry as an appreciation. I am sure she would like it! Every woman likes to wear a diamond necklace or a diamond bracelet. I have a hub on "Diamond jewelry". Hope you'll like it! Following your hubs and would like to invite you to join me too. Thanks...


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 6 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Couponalbum, one thing my mom has is lots of jewellery and diamonds, my Dad spoils her every special occasion.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

wow your mother is amazing and what an inspiration. This was really a nice tribute to her and her hard work. Cheers for you and your mom.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 6 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks Ladyjane, she is a great role model


Mabel 6 years ago

Thanks a lot for the compliment, it touches anyway because Viv is just but a star, energetic and so encouraging.I'm one of those who had benefited in terms of professionalism in this Organization, and I would like to say thanks to Viv again.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 6 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Hey Mabel, thanks for supporting my Mom in her work!

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