How ChildHope's Brazilian partner is working with young fathers to improve the lives of children and young peopleThis month we celebrate Father's Day, but what does it really mean to be a father? What is the importance of fatherhood for children's development? Is looking after children really the role of the mother, as some assume? Questions like these are being continually raised in the projects and workshops of ChildHope's Brazilian partner Promundo.
The importance of fathers to childrenDuring Promundo's early work they realized that some young fathers feel excluded from the role of caregiver and believe that looking after children is a woman's job. Many of these fathers simply reproduced the relationships that they had had with their fathers; in most cases absent and neglectful.
Young men would say, "my relationship with my father is very distant½" to justify lack of involvement in their own sons' and daughters' lives. However, after reflecting on fatherhood, care and gender equality, they came to new conclusions, such as "½but I do not want to have the same relationship with my son, I want to participate in his education½".
The problem of violence against childrenIt is not just the absence of fathers that can harm children. Family violence has grave consequence for children's development and health. To stop it you have to understand it. It has its source in problems like unemployment and social exclusion of families in poverty but also in the low status of children, especially girls, within families.
ChildHope supports Promundo in work that engages young people from different regions of Brazil in championing the prevention of violence at all levels of society. Young men have begun to persuade each other to refrain from using violence against their partners and children and to be involved and respectful towards their daughters and sons.