Friday, June 15, 2007

Celebrating Father's Day

One of the rewards of working for Children International is realizing how lucky I’ve been in my life. As Father’s Day approaches, I know I was blessed to have had a wonderful dad. He passed away in 1991, so I know the struggle of not having a father present. It’s not uncommon for children in our program to have an absentee father. Or worse, the father may be around but may be abusive, alcoholic, or unable to provide any support, financial or emotional – all of these problems compounded by living in extreme poverty.

But change is in the air. In the last couple of years, I’ve noticed more fathers in many communities actively participating in their children’s lives. They accompany the children to the community centers for events and distributions and participate in educational programs that focus on helping them become a better spouse and father. And in return, they are stepping up in their role as parent and many are giving back in their own communities.

While it’s unusual for fathers to volunteer because they are generally working to support their families, Carlos Loera Huizar from Guadalajara, Mexico, is breaking the traditional gender roles that prevail in Latin America.

Here is an excerpt from an eNews story. Click the link to read the story in its entirety:
Carlos helps support the family financially by earning money refereeing and coaching soccer teams on the weekends. He’s also a dedicated volunteer for Children International, notifying families when their sponsored children need to visit our community center to pick up a letter or gift or visit the doctor or dentist.

As a volunteer father, Carlos especially enjoys delivering letters to families informing them that their child has a sponsor and will begin receiving sponsorship benefits.

“I’m filled with happiness when I see how a person’s face changes when they hear that they have a sponsor and that they are going to be able to go to the doctor and have school supplies,” he explains.
Thanks to all of our sponsored children’s fathers, and to our own…and have a Happy Father’s Day!

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