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Celebrating Father's Day with extraordinary dads around the world

The volunteer, the entrepreneur, the survivor, the midwife, the pastor, the reformed

The volunteer

Ntom Emmanuel is a farmer and community worker in Mbakwan community, Benue State, Nigeria. Ntom lost his daughter to malaria. He faced a situation that no father should have to experience - with no funds, and the healthcare centre cut off because of flooding, Ntom resorted to herbal medicines to treat Laadi.

‘I watched my daughter dying before my very eyes, I was in great trauma and despair, not knowing what to do.’

By the time he raised the necessary funds, and the river subsided so he could carry her to the health centre, Laadi was too weak to respond to treatment.

To make sure that this does not happen again, Ntom now volunteers as part of a community group to support people to access healthcare for their children. They help construct local bridges, renovate health facilities, and encourage caregivers to access free healthcare through a UK aid-funded Christian Aid health programme.  

As we celebrate Father’s Day, we remember Ntom and father's like him around the world, who play a vital role in helping others get healthcare and services for their children.

Learn more about UKAM 4 and our work around Malaria

Ntom Emmanuel, a volunteer in Christian Aid's UKAM Nigeria health project

Ntom Emmanuel, a volunteer in Christian Aid's UKAM Nigeria health project

The entrepreneur

Daniel Muli is a bee keeper, and among the wealthiest farmers in Makueni County Kenya. He has 106 bee hives on his farm. His passion for bee keeping was instilled by his grandfather, but his desire to make it a commercial business was instilled by Christian Aid Kenya’s Nyuki Hubs social enterprise initiative.

At 62 years old, he is making a decent living, producing around 300kgs of honey each year. This translates to about £638.

Daniel is considered a physically disabled member of the society by the government because of the loss of sight from his left eye. But this has in no way tainted how Daniel views himself. He is a strong and capable man who has led and nurtured his family.

Daniel Muli Mwanzau at his home in Makueni Country Kenya. He stands over his modern hives which he bought from Christian Aid Kenya's social enterprise programme Nyuki Hubs..

Daniel Muli Mwanzau at his home in Makueni Country Kenya. He stands over his modern hives which he bought from Christian Aid Kenya's social enterprise programme Nyuki Hubs.

The survivor

Rafael lives in the coastal city of Lobito, in Angola. His own father died when he was five, and by the age of 10 Rafael was living on the streets.

He slept under cardboard boxes beneath buildings, and washed in the sea. Money for food came from cleaning cars. With scant shelter, his nights were spent at the mercy of the elements.

‘When it rained, it was tricky,’ he says, with simple understatement.

The Angolan government estimates that 700,000 children lost one or both parents during the country’s 27-year civil war. A further 100,000 were separated from their families.

Now, after more than 20 years living rough, Rafael and his family no longer need to fear the rain. They finally have a home of their own, complete with a bathroom and electricity.

Rafael’s family live in a breezeblock home in ‘16June’, a unique community for former street children, and the first of its kind in Angola. The local government built Rafael’s house, along with over 80 others, after years of campaigning by Angolan children’s rights group Omunga, supported by Christian Aid and Irish Aid. Over time, Omunga trained up the young people to take the lead in lobbying for their homes, supporting them along a gradual journey from homeless outsiders to active citizens.

As we celebrate father’s day we acknowledge efforts taken by fathers around the globe like Rafael who work hard to provide a home for their family.

Rafael Cassinda with his youngest son Manuel in the doorway of their home in Angola

Rafael Cassinda with his youngest son Manuel in the doorway of their home in Angola

Photo: Omunga/Donaldo Sousa

The midwife

Preparing for the birth of a child isn’t seen as man’s work. It took a meeting with the Men as Partners group to persuade Brian Kagoma.

In Malawi’s rural communities, women traditionally get little help with farming or household chores, even while pregnant. And preparing for the birth of a child isn’t seen as man’s work. It took a meeting with the Men as Partners group to convince Brian Kagoma to do things differently. His wife, Margaret Nyirenda, is expecting their child in a few months’ time.  

The World Health Organisation sees male involvement in maternal health as essential to making pregnancy safer. In Malawi, with its traditional divide between men’s and women’s roles, this behaviour change is crucial. Christian Aid and FOCUS developed a project that recognised the barriers of self-consciousness and social pressure. It trained men to support their wives during pregnancy, and encouraged joint decision making on maternal issues

According to the Malawi Demographic and Health Survey, 1 in 50 women aged 15-49 will die from pregnancy-related causes. However, the same survey shows the link between clinic attendance and reduced health risks for mothers and their babies by monitoring pregnancies and screening for complications. Antenatal clinics are also an opportunity to explain the importance of delivery at a health

As we celebrate Father’s Day we acknowledge fathers like Brian who take an active role in ensuring their wives have the necessary support during pre- and post pregnancy.

Read more about UKAM 2 in Malawi

Brian and Flora

'Some men tend to mock me for doing tasks that my wife is expected to do, like harvesting the cassava. But I know we are different… we need to support our wives.'

Brian Kagoma

The pastor

Pastor Jonas Sindamuka of Kabonga Parish in Makamba Province, Burundi, was able to use the teachings from a Christian Aid project to good effect. He helped to organise a workshop at his church on sexual and reproductive health and family planning.

As he and his wife were no longer of childbearing age, he started by engaging his married children. Interestingly, two of his children who had previously not been using any family planning methods, went to consult with local health services around contraception following their conversation with their father.

Pastor Jonas, Burundi

Pastor Jonas is one of the faith leaders from Burundi who was equipped with awareness around family planning through Christian Aid’s In Their Lifetime (ITL) Access to Family Planning project in Burundi. He not only shares this information with family but with his congregation.

Learn more about this In Their Lifetime programme.

The reformed

Eric Ntahimpera and Francine Nzigyinimana, Burundi

Eric Ntahimpera used to beat his wife Francine Nzigyinimana. After receiving support from their pastor, who was trained by Christian Aid’s partner in Burundi called RCRSS, he says:

'I am no longer beating my wife and I have really seen myself change.'

Francine, who was expecting her second baby on the day the photo was taken, said: 'I promise that I will be a leader in helping others who have faced the same problem.'

 


As we celebrate Father’s Day we acknowledge fathers globally who are striving to be better men for their families.