PARENTS

The Toughest Places In The World To Be A Mum

14/08/2014 16:59 | Updated 20 May 2015

With Mother's Day fast approaching, it's the perfect time to spare a thought for mums around the world raising their children in places hit by natural disasters or man-made conflict.

These beautiful photo portraits pay tribute to the courage and resilience of mothers in two of the toughest places in the world to be raising a family at the moment - the typhoon-ravaged Philippines and war-torn Syria.

Although the situations these women are facing are unimaginably tough, the pictures show smiling faces and words of hope for the future. For some, that hope comes from a religious faith that gives them the strength to put up with

Mary Ann, from the Philippines, says: "Even though our resources are gone, I know that God will restore us," as she hugs her two daughters, who miraculously survived the flooding by clinging to basketballs to keep their heads above the water.

Others take a more pragmatic view. Grandmother Uldarica, 77, whose home and business were destroyed by falling trees, expresses her gratitude to the charities helping the local community piece their lives back together: "Without them I wouldn't have anywhere to live," she says. "Because of them I believe I will survive."

In Syria, the story is a very different one - while Filipino communities can rely on each other for support, many Syrian families have been separated from their friends and neighbours, forced to flee by the bloody civil war. But even when scattered as widely as Jordan and Lebanon, these families sacrifice everything to stay together.

Check out the stunning photos in our gallery below, provided by anti-poverty charity Tearfund.

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