The inaugural staging of the Caribbean-wide “Affirming Fathers” Webinars Series, held on April 23, 2022, brought together over fifty “fathers” (biological and non-biological), from across the region, in a virtual conversation focused on positive fatherhood.
The “Affirming Fatherhood” initiative, organised by Parenting Partners Caribbean (PPC), and endorsed by Caribbean Male Action Network (CariMAN), is aimed at changing the narrative about Caribbean fathers, and encouraging men to aspire to and demonstrate high standards of loving, caring fatherhood.
The initiative is also positioned to help broaden public discussion and understanding of the value of fatherhood; to strengthen fathers’ family engagement; improve family relationships and reduce family violence; encourage fathers’ active involvement in their children’s education and their own lifelong learning; and to motivate schools and other institutions to actively find ways to welcome and encourage father involvement.
Saturday’s webinar, the first in the series, was moderated by writer, educator, performing artist and father, Owen “Blakka” Ellis.
One of the many highlights of the conversation was the presentation of a powerful and profoundly moving poem – Daddy Don’t Walk Too Fast”, written and presented by Richard Beadle.
The rich and vibrant discussion that ensued included issues such as the need for men to have a “community space”, to meet and discuss, learn and share their experiences and feelings about being fathers; boys and men need to know and appreciate that it is okay, and healthy, to express their feelings and emotions; the school curricula should be adapted to include early exposure to positive parenting practices; institutions, in particular schools and hospitals, must welcome and actively encourage fathers’ ongoing involvement with their children and families.
The conversation continues at the second Affirming Fatherhood webinar scheduled for May 28th 5.30pm-7pm Jamaica time (6.30pm-8pm E.C. time).
Parenting Partners Caribbean invites the public to join in the conversation to develop a positive narrative on Caribbean Fatherhood, and build stronger and more successful children, family units, and countries.
Source: Parenting Partners Caribbean. Headline photo courtesy Joice Kelly (Unsplash.com)