Fatherhood 2.0 Engages Bhutanese, Burmese, and Nepalese Fathers in the United States

In December 2017, MenCare global co-coordinator Equimundo and Steering Committee member MenEngage Alliance conducted a training of facilitators on engaging Bhutanese, Burmese, and Nepalese refugee and immigrant fathers in the United States through a new program called Fatherhood 2.0.

Fatherhood 2.0 is an adaptation of MenCare’s Program P, which provides concrete strategies to engage men in active fatherhood from prenatal care through delivery, childbirth, and their children’s early years.

Equimundo’s Jane Kato-Wallace and MenEngage Alliance’s Laxman Belbase led the four-day training on Fatherhood 2.0 with facilitators from the South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) in Pittsburgh, PA. The training had a specific focus on engaging fathers to address and prevent domestic violence, and violence against women and children in particular.

SHIM’s Family Center has identified domestic violence within the immigrant and refugee communities it serves as an area of concern. Certain elements of the immigrant and refugee experience can make families particularly vulnerable to intimate partner violence, including:

  • Unrealistic expectations regarding American life;
  • Financial stress;
  • Cultural expectations of gender roles;
  • Changes in family dynamics; and
  • Access to drugs and alcohol.

The Fatherhood 2.0 curriculum was informed by previous experiences of testing fatherhood programs with Latino communities in Washington, DC, along with formative research conducted by SHIM and its two decades of experience in the Pittsburgh community. The curriculum’s sessions were contextualized to reflect the realities, challenges to harmony, and family well-being of the South Asian populations that SHIM serves.

Fatherhood 2.0 will be carried out with Bhutanese, Burmese, and Nepalese immigrants and refugees starting in 2018. The program will work to address the harmful norms and expectations of violence associated with masculinity, in order to contribute to the prevention of intimate partner violence within the targeted population.