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.