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Involving dads in raising children: a review of the world's best campaigns

13 May 2020

Involving dads in family responsibilities is a very important topic, especially during the quarantine. The pandemic and the change in everyday life have proved to be challenging for many families to cope with.

It is even harder for families with children. The necessity to combine work, household chores, and the organization of children's education has become an additional burden for many families. That is why responsible fatherhood is more important now than ever before - and we hope that it will remain a trend even after quarantine.

In the world, many campaigns and platforms are focusing on involving dads in raising children. Which of them are the most interesting and where do they function?

4 Hands Happiness

"4 Hands Happiness" has been implemented by the UN Population Fund in Ukraine since 2015. This campaign is designed to involve dads in the upbringing and development of children, as well as to promote the idea of ​​equality in household responsibilities. Famous men took part in the social project - Vasyl Virastyuk, Taras Topolya, Andriy Pyatov, Taras Stepanenko, Timur Khromaev, and many others. The campaign raises the issues of equal responsibility for children's development, shared responsibilities in the family, and support.

"4 Hands Happiness" focuses on online activities (has a separate page on Facebook and a website) and other events for families and dads - holds annual celebrations of Father's Day, reading for children, etc. The project publishes thematic materials that can help dads raise children, learn and answer their questions. The campaign focuses on different messages: from educational ones about the importance of men's involvement to specific ones that relate to particular areas, which require parental engagement. Last year, the campaign launched a new wave - #superDADcan campaign, under which 26 educational videos with famous dads and experts were created on the following topics: psychological basics of fatherhood, first aid for children, sex education, children and gadgets, education without stereotypes.

Among the latest projects of the campaign is #DADINQUARANTINE, in which men shared how their lives and communication with families had changed during the quarantine. The project involved, in particular, Oleg Skrypka and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Estonia to Ukraine Kamio Kuusk.

MenCare

MenCare is a global campaign, engaging dads in raising children. With offices in many regions, the campaign has various vectors: creating programs, advocacy, and, of course, media.

In different parts of the world, the partners of the campaign have made short films about the importance of responsible parenting and communication between a child and a father from the first days of life. Social videos cover the life of the community and short stories of changes in the minds of dads, how these changes affect not only themselves but also their families. One of the videos of the ManCare campaign may be found here.

MenCare is working on responsible parenting in Europe, Central Asia, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East, and the Pacific. By creating posters, films, videos, and programs, the campaign seeks to overcome gender stereotypes about raising children and shows that being a responsible parent is happiness.

MenEngage

The MenEngage platform operates in Eastern Europe and Central Asia with the support of the United Nations Population Fund. Among the activities of the platform - advocacy, research, combating violence.

MenEngage collects and publishes stories of responsible parents, advice for dads, and various events to bring the world closer to gender equality.

 

Chile Crece Contigo

Chile Crece Contigo (translated from Spanish - "Chile grows with you") is a governmental program that operates in Chile to support and encourage children. You can find numerous thematic materials, tips, and blogs on the program's website.

The site has sections with articles and videos sorted by the age of the child, as well as many blogs on general topics, and answers to common questions. The Chilean government pays attention to the equality of partners in the upbringing of children, using the platform to talk about the role of the father, from the partner's pregnancy to later periods of the child's life. Chile Crece Contigo releases videos in which it utters the importance of active participation of dads in the growth of babies. Follow the link to watch one of the videos. Also, many of the program's materials are illustrated with drawings, which depict both partners as equally involved in raising their children.

The platform also offers online courses and is available as a mobile app.

National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse operates in the United States. The platform helps dads participate in raising their children.

Among the bright campaigns of this platform - "Dance Like a Dad". As part of this campaign, a series of videos were created to prove that dad also can be cheerful and relaxed, his role is not limited to serious conversations or help with homework in math. An example of the campaign's videos can be viewed here.

According to the Center, almost one of two (48%) working father feels that he does not spend enough time with children. One of the aims of the center and similar campaigns is to show that it is possible to communicate with children in different ways, but it is still important.

Another campaign of the Center - "Dad Jokes" creates social videos featuring children telling their dads' jokes. It shows that being a father is also about details. One of these videos can be viewed here.

UNICEF and Super Daddies

For many years, UNICEF has been focusing on responsible parenting and the role of fathers in children's development. For Father's Day in 2018, the organization launched an English-language website for parents around the world as part of its "Super Daddies" campaign, which aims to highlight the role of fathers in the early development of the child. The site allows one to learn more about responsible fatherhood and even offers small "parenting workshops" for those who do not have enough strength or skills yet.

As part of the same campaign, various materials were published, for example, about dads in Southern Europe. The eloquent and bright photos show parents with their children. Also, they are captioned with short family stories.

UNICEF does not tire of emphasizing the importance of dads for children, especially in the first days after birth. In the first thousand days of life, vital processes take place in the child's brain, and the role of the father in creating a safe and happy environment is priceless.
 

There are many platforms and campaigns in the world - both governmental and non-governmental - that involve dads in a child's development. Role models of both sexes, the participation of both mother and father are very important for all children.

During a pandemic and quarantine, it is time to think about whether we spend enough time with our children. And remember - four hands is always easier!