UNICEF highlights the role of fathers in child development

Lilongwe, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in conjunction with government have joined the global campaign to promote positive parenting for Early Childhood Development (ECD) by launching a ‘Super Dads’ Initiative.

The initiative is also locally termed as Bambo Wachitsanzo that aims at recognizing the role of fathers in ECD.

The campaign coined ‘#EarlyMomentsMatter#’ is part of the broader Mmera mpoyambaInitiative being implemented by government through Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare in line with the National Integrated Policy on Early Childhood Development.

Speaking during the launch at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC), Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Cecilia Chazama urged the private sector and civil society to give parents and caregivers of babies the time, resources and information they need to give children the best start in life.

ECD is a top government priority in all relevant sectors which is why there is need to teach and sensitize the male community to get involved for the first 1000 critical days throughout the pregnancy to the early childhood years.

The support results in good brain function, Chazama Explained.

The minister therefore, encouraged guardians and caregivers of children without fathers around, to continue nurturing and protecting the children to fill the void that they might experience without a dad.

UNICEF Representative in Malawi, Johannes Wedenig, explained that the initiative would encourage fathers to inspire their children and grow up in an environment full of love and care from both parents.

We will work with government, development partners and the local community systems such as traditional leaders and community-based organizations to ensure that the initiative is successfully implemented and bears fruit, he stated.

Popular musician/lawyer Davis Njobvu is one of the three ‘Super Dads’ identified by UNICEF as a pioneer role model to highlight the importance of love, play, protection and good nutrition for the healthy development of brains of young children.

Children learn by what we do, not what we say, so we need to be exemplary as fathers because the greatest gift we can give our children is our time, he advised.

UNICEF Malawi is working towards three advocacy areas namely keeping girls in school, ending child marriages and parenting skills.

Source: MANA Online