When I meet this group, I feel happiness! The bond I have with my children grows when I get the opportunity to focus on them. We talk more now. I teach them things. Before, I was one of those who often went out and drank,even in the middle of the day. I only thought of myself, not about the kids at home.”.Mcebisi Elliot, 37, Cape Town
Fathers are one of the key target groups of MenCare+, as becoming a father offers a unique ‘entry point’ to learning how to improve intimate relationships and sexual health, and enhancing attachment to their children. As a result, not only can women’s rights and health advance but intimate partner violence can be reduced and children secure better prospects. Research shows that men’s own health and quality of life are also enhanced. Everybody wins! MenCare+ partners in Brazil, Indonesia, Rwanda and South Africa have used various strategies and interventions to engage boys and men in social change and as caring partners and fathers. A number of these interventions were developed by MenCare+ partners and adapted to country context. A summary of these interventions is listed below.
Engaging young men to make healthier choices
Program P is named after padre and pai, the words for father in Spanish and Portuguese. It provides a direct and targeted response to engaging men in active fatherhood from prenatal care and childbirth to early childhood.
Program H is named after homens and hombres, the words for men in Portuguese and Spanish. Launched in 2002 by Promundo and partners and now used in more than 22 countries, it primarily targets men, aged 15–24, to encourage critical reflection about rigid norms related to manhood.
Program M is named after mulheres and mujeres, the words for women in Portuguese and Spanish. Designed for young women, Program M focuses on equitable gender roles, empowerment in interpersonal relationships, SRHR and promoting motherhood and caregiving.
Adressing male trauma to prevent gender-based violence
Toolkit for Men: Male Counselling in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence is structured around 12 counselling sessions. The toolkit is designed to help men who are violent in their intimate relationships to change their behaviour and become respectful partners. It offers individual, couple and/or group counselling, followed by support groups. The toolkit comprises a facilitator’s guide, counsellor’s workbook, counselling guide, implementation and adaptation guide, monitoring and evaluation tools, and a training of trainers manual.
Living Peace was inspired and informed by results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) conducted by Promundo, which identified a strong link between men experiencing or witnessing violence and trauma in conflict and later perpetrating violence at home. An adapted version of the Living Peace methodology, called Pillars of Peace, is being implemented in Rwanda as part of the MenCare+ programme.
Engaging men in community mobilization and campaigning
MenCare is a global fatherhood campaign to promote men’s involvement as equitable and non-violent fathers and partners. The campaign was launched in 2011 and is now being implemented in more than 35 countries. MenCare is coordinated by Promundo and Sonke Gender Justice in collaboration with a steering committee comprising the MenEngage Alliance, Save the Children and Rutgers. The campaign provides support materials, messages, policy recommendationsand research evidence to encourage local MenEngage partners, nongovernment and women’s organisations, government partners and the United Nations to implement activities in their settings.
The One Man Can (OMC) Campaign strengthens community mobilization and local advocacy for gender justice and conducts public awareness activities to educate communities on prevention and response to gender-based violence and HIV. This includes training of community activists who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to become active citizens in their own environment.
The Community Action Teams (CATs) promote gender equality and human rights in their communities. These organized groups of citizens are task-oriented teams committed to raising awareness and taking action on issues that affect them and their community, particularly in relation to challenging gender inequalities and promoting gender justice.