Fathers Incorporated - Jamaica
In order to carry out its mission to 'protect the image of fatherhood', workshops, seminars, and conferences are offered that address various aspects of fatherhood. These sessions are designed to provide information about parenting skills, as well as to encourage men to play a more active role in the lives of their children. Men who are not yet fathers are encouraged to learn from other participants about how to anticipate and prepare for the challenges they may encounter in that role.
Fathers Incorporated has developed a special training module to address the needs of men from the country's deprived inner-city communities. This module goes beyond parenting skills to address contraception. Future topics for this module may include broader topics on the issue of male sexuality such as gender development, socialisation, and cultural norms. In addition, workshops in 2001 focussed on the single father.
The organisation also instituted a Fathers' Day concert under the patronage of the Governor-General and the Prime Minister. Since 1997, a yearly presentation of the 'Model Father' award has been made in an effort to recognise fathers who love, nurture, and provide for their families.
Gender, Childhood Development.
Fathers Incorporated grew out of a parental symposium organised by the Caribbean Child Development Centre's (CCDC). CCDC is a unit of the School of Continuing Studies of the University of the West Indies. One of the seminars at this symposium, called Fathers Only, was developed in response to stereotypes of men as irresponsible fathers. Negative images were based on the notion that men who fathered children out of wedlock tended, according to the stereotyped story, to refuse to acknowledge them or provided financial support only after legal action was taken. Other stereotypes reflected images of fathers as absentee parents concerned only with their role as providers. These unflattering images motivated the Fathers Only group, who felt they were trying to be good parents, to take action to attract positive publicity to fatherhood.
In 2001, Fathers Incorporated was awarded the Press Association of Jamaica's (PAJ) National Press Award, which is presented each year to a group or individual for outstanding community service.
Fathers Incorporated has received sponsorship from international organisations including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
"Fathers' Inc wins PAJ award", Jamaica Gleaner, November 27, 2001; and "Making Real Fathers out of Men", The Electronic Evergreen (courtesy of GEM Radio Network) August 11, 2001; and "Some Organisations Working with Men and Boys to End Violence Against Women and Girls" by Ruth Finney Hayward firstname.lastname@example.org.