A programme launched in Parkwood is hoping to change the face of fatherhood in the area.
Lion’s Club Kirstenbosch partnered with NPO Jabulani and the Parenting Centre and started a programme to teach fathers life skills, communication skills and family values. The men are also taught how to be more involved with their children through playtime.
Seventeen men from Parkwood participated in the programme but partnering organisations hope many more will take part in future.
Philip Bam, of the Lions Club of Kirstenbosch, the organisation that funded the project, said it was part of a community development initiative.
“Parkwood is a deprived and depressed area in terms of socio-economic issues. We brought the project here because many families in the area are dysfunctional,”said Mr Bam.
“If children don’t get love from their fathers, they go outside of the home to look for love and attention, and that is when the gangs come in because they give them a sense of love,” he said.
Mr Bam said project dovetailed with other programmes in Grassy Park.
“We want to deny gangsters a market. If fathers can look after their families, that’s a step in the right direction to the development of their children. That is how we can start to make a change in the community of Parkwood,” said Mr Bam.
Raihaan Petersen, 22, from the area said he got involved with the programme to be a better parent to his two-year-old daughter.
“I want to learn how to handle my child better, and because she’s a girl I want to show her how to have self respect, how to discipline her properly and how to raise a strong daughter,” said Mr Petersen.
Victor Moses, 40, who has seven-year-old and a 12-year-old, said the programme taught him how to communicate with his children.
“Sometimes parents just don’t know how to speak to their children. After enforcing these things I have learned at the programme, I feel that my household is a happier place because we now speak up when we have problems and issues. I hope all fathers get an opportunity yo take part in the programme,” said Mr Moses.