Father's Day is celebrated worldwide to recognize the contribution and influence that fathers have on the lives of their children. In Lebanon, June 21st is dedicated for all fathers.
Fathers have a crucial role to play in the cognitive, social, and emotional development of their children and being a good parent is not always instinctive, thus the need for parental training and support.
Hassan, a 33 years old Syrian father, spent a quarter of his life living as a refugee in a tent in the Bekka valley – Lebanon. The struggle started eight years ago when Hassan had to take his wife and two infants and escape the bombing in his hometown.
“I had no alternative; bombs were falling all over our town. I am not going to sit and wait for one to hit my home. My family’s safety comes first,” says Hassan.
During the eight years spent in the Bekaa Valley, Hassan was not able to work at all. To make matters worse, Hassan now has eight children to care for.
“I had to sell my house and land, back in Syria. Now that I spent everything, all I can rely on is the help and support I get from the humanitarian organizations,” he reveals.
Hassan is now taking parental training sessions with World Vision. Positive Parenting sessions ensure that children will grow in a nurturing environment that aims to foster optimal development, through the provision of training sessions to parents of children aged under six years old.
The curriculum aims at increasing the knowledge and skills of caregivers to support the Early Childhood Education throughout five sessions with the caregivers, covering main topics such as; Sensitive and responsive Care giving, Nurturing physical and cognitive development, home environment and many more.
“I took two sessions and learned a lot so far. I came here [ECE Center] today to enroll Raed in the ECE sessions. I learned how much education is crucial in shaping my children’s future,” says Hassan.
“Before the sessions, I never knew how important it is to be present and welcome children when they come back from school. I should never ignore them. On the contrary, I should welcome them with affection and listen to what they have to say. The bond I have with my kids is already growing,” he adds.
Hassan’s son, Raed, four, is quite nervous on his first day at school. Everything is new to him. His father’s presence next to him encourages him to adapt to his new journey.
World Vision's Parenting curriculum also aims at promoting gender equality, breaking gender stereotypes, and encouraging males to be more engaged in their children’s education, as well as become a positive male figure, and maintain healthy familial relationships.
“Raed is very special to me. He had an open-heart surgery when he was only two years old. At the time, I was horrified that I may lose him. Thank god, it went well. Now I want him to have a good chance of education,” says Hassan.
“Without kids, life would be empty. I want to provide for my kids what was not available for me. I hope I can be successful,” he adds.
In partnership with UNICEF and funding from DFID, France and Canada, World Vision aims to support 650 caregivers in the Bekaa Valley with positive parenting sessions.