Single Fathers Dub UNESCO’s Empowerment Project Enlightening

(NATCOM) - Basseterre, 11th May, 2016: Some eighty fathers who recently completed a project organized by the National Commission for UNESCO to empower single fathers in the Federation have been dubbed enlightening and practical.  Participants, most of whom said they so enjoyed the sessions over the past few months that they wished it was longer told the National Commission that they have already started utilizing the skills they gained and look forward to follow up sessions in the future. Livingston Doily of Challengers who received his certificate when the project came to close lost his children’s mom several years ago when she died prematurely. As such he said he was pleased to be able to gain the expertise of facilitators over the period.

He stated, “It’s tough at times but I am up to the challenge and enjoy doing it. It helped me, especially the Education part of it. I can tell them how to get along with people, how to be respectable to teachers and other students and how to study.”

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mrs. Ionie Liburd Willett praised the project and highlighted the ministry’s support and approval. “The Single Father’s project has heightened awareness of the invaluable contribution of single fathers to the stabilization of the family. The project is a vehicle to empower single fathers in St. Kitts with the attitude and disposition, skill and knowledge to make them better parents.”

The fathers were exposed to information about effective parenting, communication, discipline techniques, and the importance of modeling positive behaviours to their children among other instructional content.

Inspector Cromwell Henry   in comments on behalf of Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley, said it was of paramount importance that fathers be equipped with the information that would allow them to be able to balance between earning an income and creating homes that nurture children.

“There is numerous research which shows that children with involved, loving fathers are more likely to do well in school; have high, healthy self-esteem; exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior and avoid high risk behavior including drug abuse, gang affiliation and criminal activity.”

Referring to his government’s support of the activity, Minister with responsibility for Gender Affairs and Social Development Hon. Eugene Hamilton advised that traditionally families in the Caribbean region have been defined by grandmother-dominated households, absent fathers and common law unions. He added that this trend is however dwindling as we see a rise in the differently comprised households including that of single fathers. As such, it has become critical that these fathers be given the tools to manage such households.

The minister emphasized “It is imperative for single fathers to have a strong network of support to facilitate the process of child rearing. This programme sought to provide a safety net for fathers by exposing them to information; legal and otherwise and educating them in the three disciplines of math, English and Information

Technology so they could assist their children with homework.” The programme also enabled fathers to develop a high level of thinking skills in relation to domestic issues.

Programme Coordinator, Mrs. Ruby Thomas commended the single fathers for their diligence during the project and noted the improvements she witnessed over the workshop. “You demonstrated the values of parental love; personal participation in your children’s lives; personal contact; discussion about educational, religion, living environment, and the economic support necessary for their daily lives,” Ms Thomas stated.

Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO Mr. Antonio Maynard recorded the Organization’s stamp of approval by distributing certificates of participation to the successful participants.

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