In Sri Lanka, MenCare programming engages hundreds of fathers

Group photo of participants in MenCare Sri Lanka family retreat.

World Vision Lanka, MenCare’s partner in Sri Lanka, engaged hundreds of men in fatherhood programming in the Ambagamuwa Area Development Program (ADP) in 2015.

The Ambagamuwa ADP worked to involve men in Sri Lanka’s plantation communities in active fatherhood and caregiving by conducting 109 MenCare classes for 309 participants. As part of the program, fathers and their families participated in MenCare family retreats, which provided a multi-day opportunity for parents to reflect both on raising their children and on their own relationships. A new experience for many, the program has transformed the lives of fathers by encouraging them to develop more equitable relationships and to take on an equal share of childcare and domestic work at home.

In July 2015, the Ambagamuwa ADP also conducted a two-day MenCare “Training of Trainers” program for Christian pastors, Hindu religious teachers, former MenCare facilitators, and community volunteers. Two-thirds of the participants in the “Training of Trainers” program now serve as facilitators of MenCare fathers’ groups.

Through the “Training of Trainers” program, participants improved their facilitation skills with a variety of participatory sessions. Religious and community leaders worked together on concepts and techniques related to brainstorming, group communication, role-playing, critical reflection and analysis, problem solving, and decision-making.

The “Training of Trainers” program aimed to educate religious and community leaders in Sri Lanka’s plantation sector on the benefits that fathers’ positive involvement in their families can have for women, children, and men themselves.