Father’s the Cornerstone of the Family

Posted on | juni 18, 2012 | No Comments

A father in Mali, West Africa, helps his son and daughter with their homework. Photo: Plan Canada

I came across this quote this morning and it truly summed up all one should say on a day, such as today-Father’s Day;

A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. Author Unknown

Today many fathers woke to smiling children excited to give them their special gifts-many handcrafted with nothing less than love-and ready to treat Dad to a special day. However for many Dads there is no special day as they fight to provide and care for their children. In developing countries, many fathers struggle to try and find regular income to provide their family with the very basics – food, water, shelter and medicines -let alone provide their children with an education.

How many of you heard your father say; “When you grow up, you can be whatever you want to be.”? It is what all father’s really wish -and what all children deserve. However many simple dreams are shattered as many children are denied an education, as many father’s feeling pressured by the inability to provide adequate food and shelter- are forced to send their children to work.  For many father’s providing these basic essential’s comes at an overlooked cost, as they work long hours -often in dangerous and harsh conditions- to provide for their families.  The children in these families are then denied a solid family core and relationship with their father’s.  In my recent post, International Day of Families, I noted; ”… it is vital that family-friendly policies are enacted that support a healthy and sustainable work-family balance, in order to ensure that individuals and families are able to provide both economically and emotionally for their dependents and members.” For Families -including father’s- are the core of our global stability and provide the foundation for a child’s development. Fathers play a unique and crucial role in nurturing and guiding children’s development and therefore their role must be increasingly valued by international development and aid. Nonetheless all men -especially father’s- must be made a central part of the battle for education, against child labor and gender discrimination. Thankfully many men in developing countries are increasingly rejecting wide-spread cultural stereotypes of manhood and stepping forward to challenge gender roles that compromise their well-being and the health of their their families.  Father’s who fight for a change in gender norms, not only have a positive impact on their family, but that of their entire community.

Fatherhood is one of the most important and undervalued jobs of all and today for all those who give selfishly each day to provide for your children today we all thank you.  For all fathers -rich or poor- may today you see the wealth and meaning of your life in the eyes of your children. May you know that the love, humility and wisdom that you bestow upon your child each day is truly the greatest gift you will ever give them. Happy Father’s Day!

AUTHOR: Cassandra Clifford
URL: www.bridgetofreedomfoundation.org and http://children.foreignpolicyblogs.com
E-MAIL: Cassandra [at] btff.org


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