Friday, 8 June 2012

Give a guy a break this Father’s Day

This Father’s Day, Compassion is urging support for men who fight against local culture and tradition to be the hands-on dads they long to be.

In many parts of the world being a ‘hands-on’ dad is frowned upon. Childcare is often considered the sole responsibility of the woman. 

Compassion believes this denies many children the opportunity to have a close relationship with their father and that it is detrimental to their development. 

According to Unicef, children perform better academically, have fewer discipline problems, and become more responsible adults when both their mother and father are actively involved in their learning and development.

Compassion child development centres are working alongside local churches to involve both parents in the development of the child, with a specific focus on encouraging men to take a more active role in their child’s life. Across the world there are waves of fathers who are rising up against the cultural binds that prevent them from being the kind of dads they long to be.

Twenty-year-old Allus Yikwa is just one example. He’s part of the Wamena tribe in Western New Guinea, where gender lines are strongly drawn. When Allus lost his wife, the pressure within his community to give his son Yalimur away was fierce. He faced a lifetime of rejection and shame, but still he stood firm. 

“I do not want to give Yalinur to someone else, including my relatives or wife’s relatives,” he says with resolution. “I should take the responsibility of taking care of him. I cook, wash, plant, and take care of Yalinur by myself. I have lost my wife. I do not want to lose my son.”

Thankfully, through the Compassion project, Allus found staff to help him learn how to take care of his son and become the father he longed to be. Life isn’t easy, but he no longer has to walk it alone.

Compassion is a fantastic child development charity that serves more than 1.3 million children in 26 of the world’s poorest countries.

Read more about Compassion in the next issue of Sorted magazine. 

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