MenCare+ South Africa hosts “Father and Child Day,” encouraging engagement and education through play

A father helps his young child read a book at Mosaic's "Father and Child Day."

MenCare+ South Africa partner Mosaic hosted a “Father and Child Day” in Tafelsig, a community in Cape Town, on August 22, 2015. The community of Tafelsig is located within the broader suburb of Mitchells Plain, which is often featured in local and national news for gang violence, drug use and trade, high levels of unemployment, and absent fathers.

Mosaic, as part of the MenCare+ program, works to engage men in becoming more involved fathers. The idea for the event arose out of the need – expressed by fathers – to have a space where they would be able to explore activities in which they could more actively engage with their children.

Twenty fathers and their children attended the event. A number of activity stations were set up to encourage interactive play, alongside educational stations for fathers. The stations included coloring, indoor cricket, educational games, a reading corner, and nappy (diaper) changing, along with an educational booth for fathers on family planning and sexual and reproductive health.

Participants at the Father and Child Day expressed the desire to make the event a regular occurrence. They felt that the space was safe, that it helped to facilitate men’s interaction with their children, and that it provided an opportunity for fathers to meet, share experiences, and support one another.

Mosaic works closely with partner organizations in the community, and they recently established a Network of Care. The network brings together service-providing organizations in Tafelsig to share knowledge, skills, and resources and to ensure that the services are delivered most effectively. The Father and Child Day was supported by network partners, who assisted in the facilitation of game stations and information sharing.

See more photos from the event below: