Today MOSAIC, in partnership with Sonke Gender Justice and the Department of Health, put on a Fathers’ Day celebration at eMichael Mapongwana Health Care facility in Khayelitsha. The event’s theme was “fathers sharing ideas in caring for children,” and the event generated constructive dialogue amongst the men present. The event was held in eMichael’s Maternity Ward, which was an appropriate reminder of the importance of fatherhood from the very beginning and birth.
Representatives from MOSAIC, Sonke and Department of Health shared about their services and programmes, wiCth an emphasis on those tailored to men. They unveiled a large Menare+ poster that had been newly added to eMichael’s walls encouraging men to be active and present fathers. The event continued with the premiere of a MenCare short film, documenting the resolution of a young man from Khayelitsha to support his pregnant partner. Speakers encouraged the men present to not say that their partner is pregnant, but instead “we are pregnant.”
After the speakers and the film there was a dialogue where men from the audience spoke about their own experiences and struggles with fatherhood, and emotional pain from past experiences with their own fathers. MC Leo Mbobi specifically asked them to reflect on how they felt about it, as South African men often struggle to express emotions.
The event ended with everyone in the room singing the national anthem, the distribution of MenCare+ goodie bags, and a light lunch. Said one man about the event, “I feel encouraged. I feel inspired.” MOSAIC hopes that that attitude was shared by all present today.