Cheryl Hickey, ET Canada host has been a Plan International Canada Celebrated Ambassador for a long time. Over the years, she has helped us raise awareness about various campaigns and Gifts of Hope that work to educate children, empower girls and provide lifesaving care to mothers and newborn babies.
We are grateful for her generosity, time and voice. With Mother’s Day around the corner, we wanted to share with our community Cheryl’s thoughts on motherhood and why she enthusiastically supports our work to empower mothers around the world.
What motivates you to continue supporting the work we do for mothers around the world?
I believe mothers all around the world need to feel support and love. They especially need our resources the most after giving birth.
As a mom, what inspires you to shine a light on the issues affecting mothers and babies in developing countries?
I feel helping raise awareness and funds for these families is something we all should be doing to create opportunities for them to have a better future.
What lessons did you learn from your upbringing that you are fostering in your own children?
To appreciate the little things, to appreciate family, and to always rely on each other. Also you don’t need to have a lot of material things to have a good childhood.
What is the most important lesson you’ve tried to teach your children so far?
Manners go a long way, that’s a big one for us, because they’re still little, they’re four and seven. Kindness first, we’re teaching them how to stand up for themselves, while still looking out for others. We’re teaching honesty and how important it is, and we’re starting with my four-year-old, who’s dancing around with her little white lies. I’ll say “did you wash your hands?” and she’ll say “yes”, and I’ll say “did you really?” and she’s like “maybe.” So we’re trying to really instill the importance of honesty no matter what the consequence.
How have you tried to talk to your children about gender equality?
Going back to my daughter, we talk about colours, and that there’s no such thing as a boy colour, and there’s no such thing as a girl colour. Pink isn’t a girl colour, it’s just pink. Or that’s not a boy’s TV show, it’s just a show. We try not to put any gender stereotypes on things. But I let my daughter play with Barbie and toys like that because that’s something she loves, and I let my son play with trucks because that’s something he loves. But then there’s a lot of games that they play together, and it works for both of them. So we just try to make everything as neutral as possible, but where things are naturally different you also let it be.
What makes you proud to be their mom?
Oh everything! They’re the most brilliant people, I’m so happy they chose me, really. They’re kind, really kind, my son wears his heart on his sleeve and I’m proud of that, because I think there needs to be more kindness in the world. There are a thousand reasons why I’m proud to be their mom, I couldn’t just pick one.
What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
My thumbs are double jointed, I can keep one eye straight and let the other one move, I have one longer tooth on the bottom that sticks up really high. The thing is now with the internet I feel like everyone knows pretty much everything about me, but those are some personal functions perhaps that people don’t know! I used to be a skateboarder, I used to skateboard as a kid, and maybe people don’t know that. I loved it.
Celebrate mom by empowering moms around the world
Honour your mom this Mother’s Day by giving the gift of health. Our Gifts of Hope represent real projects that provide lifesaving essentials for moms and babies in the developing world.