16 March 2016

Grow without violence: Promoting active fatherhood

SOS Peru piloted an Active Fatherhood project to help strengthen families. Photographer: Carlos Leon Carlos/SOS Peru

Violence is one of the main reasons why children and adolescents lose parental care in Peru. To address this reality, as part of the Care for ME! campaign, SOS Children’s Villages Peru developed the “Grow without violence” project to foster debate about active fatherhood and promote drafting of public policies that guarantee the right of all families and their communities to live without violence.

In 2014, more than 150,000 cases of family violence were reported in Peru. San Juan de Lurigancho, a district of the Province of Lima, is among the districts with the highest rates of violence. To respond to this reality, SOS Children’s Villages Peru developed the “Grow without violence” project. Between January 2014 and June 2015, this pilot project in San Juan de Lurigancho focused on promoting active fatherhood and gender equality.
 
In this project, funded by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, SOS Peru worked directly with families from family strengthening programmes in the Huáscar and Zárate neighborhoods in San Juan de Lurigancho. The goal of the activities was to help reduce levels of family violence and advocate for a culture of good treatment, in which children can be raised with love, respect and security.
 
Through public campaigns and advocacy work, SOS Peru also helped to promote child protection and children’s rights, aiming to contribute to breaking the cycle of violence in the region.

Posivite masculinity: When men care

SOS Peru promotes active fatherhood workshops to involve men in the care of their children. Photo: Carlos Leon Carlos/SOS Peru

One of the central activities of the project was parenting workshops, which promoted the active participation of fathers with their partners and children in the family’s life.

“The work on Active Fatherhood as a way of preventing violence is an initiative and a new challenge that SOS Peru has assumed,” said Rosa Vilchez, Resource Mobilisation Advisor. “There is an atmosphere of violence and instability in San Juan de Lurigancho, and our activity is important in the sense that we address a concern for the district. Therefore, it is necessary to extend our intervention to influence public policy. Working with men, so they get involved in the direct and tender care of their children, is a cultural challenge to be faced."

 
Among other things, SOS Peru developed a methodological proposal of how to address the topic of Positive Masculinity. It drew on the MenCare methodology, which introduces 10 themes:
 
  • Be Involved from the Start
  • Share the Care Work
  • Be Proud & Show It
  • Provide Health Care
  • Just Play
  • Educate
  • Be Brave: Show Affection
  • Raise without Violence
  • Teach Equality & Respect
  • Support the Mother
Inspired by this methodology, SOS Peru worked on specific topics with fathers from the San Juan de Lurigancho district:
 
  • The father’s experience of pregnancy
  • Gender equality and non-violent parenting
  • Learning to identify and stop violence against women and children
  • Childcare at home

What was the reach of the project?

  • 600 children from San Juan de Lurigancho participated in the project directly.
  • 197 mothers of families from the Family Strenghtening Programmes and Community Development participated in positive parenting workshops.
  • 78 fathers from the Family Strenghtening Programmes and the community participated in positive masculinity workshops.
  • 100 parents sensitised about family violence.
  • Over 1,000 parents participated in public campaigns.
Through this project, SOS was able to define replicable strategies for prevention and treatment of family violence and the development of active fatherhood. SOS Peru is planning to implement similar projects in other districts, to continue to promote children’s, adolescents’ and families’ rights to live a life without violence.

Read more about SOS Children's Villages' work in Peru

More about End Violence against Children