MenCare Latvia successfully completes the country’s first fathers’ program

MenCareLatvia1Centre Dardedze, the coordinator of MenCare Latvia, has successfully completed the country’s first fathers’ group program. Twelve fathers attended six meetings in Riga that focused on themes such as the importance of being an active father, a father’s role during pregnancy, caring for yourself and your partner, understanding the world through the eyes of a child and how to use positive discipline.

Latvia’s fathers’ program was modeled after fathers’ groups in Sweden and Russia, but adapted to Latvia’s regional context and the needs and expectations of fathers who participated.

Upon completion of the program, all of the participants said they
would recommend the experience to other fathers, citing the ability to share experiences that are not commonly discussed with other men as the most important component of the program.

“It took me an hour and a half to travel to the fathers’ group and the same amount of time to get back home, but it was worth it. I would do it all over again,” said one participant.MenCareLatvia2

Other participants called the program “a wonderful club for
anonymous fathers” and “a great way to discuss important topics also for fathers, not only mothers.”

This month, Centre Dardedze plans to begin a second fathers’ group
program, as well as to take the first steps toward starting a fatherhood campaign directed at the broader community.

Centre Dardedze has implemented its fathers’ program since July 2013. As a non-governmental, nonprofit organization that works to prevent child abuse in Latvia and to provide direct help to children exposed to sexual, physical, emotional abuse and neglect, Centre Dardedze recently began work in promoting fathers’ positive engagement in parenting.