What you need to know:
- This publication understands that the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development has since endorsed this initiative.
Impact and Innovations Development Centre (IIDC), a not-for-profit organisation, has bagged a $1m (about Shs3.7 billion) grant to mentor young fathers.
According to IIDC, involvement of men will reduce violence against women and children.
“Without the engagement of men—husbands and fathers, who disproportionately represent perpetrators of violence—true and lasting change in the lives of children will not occur,” Mr Deogratias Yiga, the IIDC executive director told Daily Monitor yesterday.
He added: “It is against this background that IIDC together with its partners has chosen to work towards changing the mindset and actions of fathers to ensure responsible parenting and in turn create a safe environment for children.”
The organisation, whose objective is to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable groups in Africa, in a statement issued yesterday noted that experiencing and being exposed to violence directly interferes with a child’s ability to think and learn and can disrupt the course of healthy physical, emotional, and intellectual development.
According to the NGO, three in four Ugandans report ever experiencing emotional, physical, and/or sexual violence before the age of 18, with violence largely first occurring before the age of five; and for the majority of survivors, violence was at the hands of a parent.
In terms of intimate partner violence and child maltreatment prevention efforts, IIDC said research often focuses only on women and children, who represent just one part of the problem.
Five child-centred NGO partners led by IIDC are poised to roll out the five-year major social-cultural norms-change intervention that seeks to bring men and fathers at the centre of child learning.
The project dubbed REAL fathers (Responsible, Engaged and Loving is an evidence-based, community-led mentorship programme for fathers of toddler-aged children that teaches positive parenting, non-violent discipline, and early childhood care.
Mr Yiga said the organisation was one of the 10 finalists out of the 627 contestants for the Build a World of Play Challenge. “At this stage, each of the 10 finalists worldwide has received a $1m grant from the LEGO Foundation to build the necessary institutional capacity to scale up its model under the World of Play challenge,” he said.
If selected for the award on December 6, the five-year REAL-ECD scale up project will positively transform social cultural norms around fatherhood to promote healthy child development.”
The challenge will award a total of approximately $117m (Shs444b) to selected organisations across the world to support substantial contributions to the lives of children from birth to six years old and spark a global movement to prioritise early childhood development.
The REAL fathers initiative is planned to be implemented in 43 districts across the country.
This publication understands that the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development has since endorsed this initiative.
The Impact and Innovations Development Centre will undertake the child-focused project with four partners including Somero Uganda, All Nations Child Development Centre, World Education-Bantwana, and Forum for African Women Educationalists, with technical support from the University of California San Diego.