Fatherhood is challenging. It is a big responsibility. In the communities where our partners work, there are some amazing fathers, bringing up their children in some incredibly difficult circumstances.
Fathers: Surviving hunger
Ludoviko is a father of 10, and now a grandfather, too: ‘It is very pathetic as a father, to feel like you cannot provide food for your children, and that there is nothing you can do to make them better when they are crying.’
Erratic, unexpected weather like long periods of drought have, some years, left Ludoviko unable to feed his children.
With the Wildlife Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM), Ludoviko is now growing a variety of crops, including groundnuts, sweet potato and pigeon peas: ‘We are not hungry. Even last year we were healthy, and the grandchildren are all going to school.’
Fathers: Sharing a new home
Fede Dunois has four children of his own, but now cares for two more children from his community who had nowhere to go.
The family's home was destroyed in the 2010 Haiti earthquake, so they took refuge in a church. Later they built a temporary and inadequate shelter from tarpaulin and any other materials they could find.
After more than two years of living like this, the Dunois family received a permanent, safe house from Christian Aid partner Support Group for Refugees and Returnees (GARR), as well as support to start a new business, training, seeds and tools to grow crops, and a cow.
He is now able to act as a father to more children who need his help. ‘We are one community,’ he says.
Fathers: Risking lives
Once upon a time Eustaquio earned a decent living and felt he was able to provide for his family. He has 11 children. But the land he and his family lived on was taken from them and he was left in fear for their lives.
Now his family live in an area called a ‘humanitarian zone’. No weapons are allowed in the area at all, and they are protected by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
‘Humanitarian zones are an example to the whole of Colombia, because they build peace. Protection is the most valuable thing,' says Eustaquio.
His son Duver adds: 'I feel very proud of my father, because he has done so much for the land and for the people. But I am also scared for him, and I would prefer it if he didn’t leave the humanitarian zone, because he could be killed.'
As a result of reports - including those from Christian Aid partner, Justice and Peace - the Colombian government has started a process of returning the land to farmers like Eustaquio.
‘I never want to see dead people again in the river. I don’t want to fear any more. Our children deserve better,’ Eustaquio says.
This Father’s Day we give thanks for all the wonderful men caring for their children, and the young people in their communities. Thank you to all of you who are helping to build a better future.
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