FAN runs numerous programmes to support our mission: Community, #RealManRealDad, Boys to Men, Men’s Camps and Guyology for young men. See below for details.
Fatherlessness and gender based violence threaten the very fabric of our society.
Young people who grow up with absent or abusive fathers are at significantly greater risk of falling into almost every category of social and psychological dysfunction; substance abuse, promiscuity, early pregnancy, abuse, violence, crime. The social implications of absent or abusive men and fathers is immense. UNICEF recently cited the absence of fathers as the single biggest social issue of our time. Sadly, most interventions in South Africa focus on dealing with the effect of fatherlessness and masculine abuse and not the cause. At the root of the issue is men who are wounded in their masculinity and have a distorted notion of what true masculinity is. Wounded men become men who wound, raising more wounded men. This vicious cycle needs to be broken by restoring men to true masculinity and responsible fatherhood.
FAN’s pilot community programme started in 2010 in Bophelong, Gauteng. Situated close to the Vaal River in Vanderberbijl Park, Bophelong is a community of roughly 100,000 people. It is a microcosm of many underdeveloped South African communities with unemployment, fatherlessness, teenage pregnancies, substance abuse and domestic abuse at unacceptably high levels. Father A Nation started working in Bophelong in 2010, selecting and training over 30 men to be surrogate fathers and mentors to the many orphans and vulnerable children in the community. The programme has had a huge impact on the community. Read more about the Bophelong Programme
De Aar in the Northern Cape has the dubious distinction of having the world’s worst Foetal alcohol syndrome problem. Unemployment, substance abuse, fatherlessness and domestic violence are rampant. The FAN de Aar programme started in Oct 2016 with the aim of transforming 50 men and 50 women in the community into leaders and change agents to break the cycle of alcoholism and abuse. We have seen numerous lives changed and the knock-on effect of transformed men impacting on their broader community.
The world needs men on a mass scale to stand up and be real men and real fathers, taking their responsibilities seriously, using their strength to love, serve and protect.
FAN facilitates workshops in companies, sports codes and communities to help men understand what drives the masculine soul and how to live with authentic masculinity to build a safe and loving society for all. At the end of the workshops we encourage men to take the Real Man Real Dad pledge.
Boys to Men
There is a desperate need to teach young boys what it means to be a man.
For millennia, older men have taken younger men through rites of passage processes to induct them into manhood. Yet in modern society we have largely lost these rituals and young men are left to find their way into manhood by default, taking their cues from media and their peers. The result is a generation of men who are unsure of their own masculinity and uncertain of what it means to be a man. In a gentle yet powerful way FAN facilitates rites of passage programmes to help boys make the all-important transition from boyhood to manhood.
Too few men grow up with an understanding of what authentic masculinity is and how to use their strength well. And very few men grow up having been validated and affirmed as men.
The result is that too many men either fail to use their strength or misuse their strength. FAN facilitates camps for men which provide powerful, breakthrough experiences. When a group of men get together for the purpose of rediscovering, understanding and validating authentic masculinity, great things happen. Group sizes vary from 10 to 50 and the result is always the same: men return with an understanding of their masculine soul and a commitment to use their strength well to build and not breakdown.
In partnership with Planet Productions, FAN runs inspirational programmes in schools and tertiary institutions for young men.
There is a tremendous hunger and desire in boys around the country for male role models and older “Bull Elephants” to show them what it means to be a man and validate their manhood. These programmes are bearing great fruit.