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Giving fatherhood new meaning in Senegal

“In the past, men were just considered as breadwinners,” says 50-year-old father of seven, Diack, reflecting on the not-so-distant past of his community in Senegal. “In terms of gender, there is a lot to be changed.”

And things are changing – especially regarding access to health – thanks to your support!

For Diack and the 14 other fathers of the Fathers' Club – which you help make possible – family and maternal health care are more important than ever.

See for yourself how Diack and the Fathers' Clubs you support are transforming gender roles and changing the birth story:

With your help, local staff brought together Diack and 14 thought-leaders, teachers and influential members of the community to be educated on the roles of husbands and wives.

The men attend trainings, collaborate and discuss maternal health topics like the importance of women visiting the local health post for deliveries and pre/post-natal checkups.

 



“The mission is to share what we have learned with our families,” Diack tells us. “The Father's Club training inspires us to encourage the women to visit the health facilities for any health issue, and we must be informed to assist them.”

 

Through your sponsorship, the Fathers' Club has held many public outreach activities like radio Q&As, town halls and advocacy meetings with district chiefs, to spread their message of health and equality. They are informing the community on the need to:

  • Visit health facilities before, during and after pregnancy
  • Conduct safe deliveries at health facilities
  • Vaccinate at-risk children, especially those under the age of five.

Just three months into the program, Diack is already seeing the changes: “Now, if you go to the health facilities, you can meet a man who brings his child for vaccination. This did not happen in the past.”

The men are also beginning to accompany their wives to health facilities for check-ups and child birth, providing much appreciated support and care, which can also help save lives.

Men of the Husbands’ school sit and listen to Diack

Diack, using the training you’ve helped provide, leads a class at a Fathers' Club meeting.

Healthy, equitable households make healthy communities

Thanks to your Father's Club, Diack and many other fathers are learning the importance of gender equality within families. These dedicated dads are beginning to break the stigma of traditional gender roles.

“Men and women have to share the house chores”, states Diack, who now eagerly takes part in housework and raising the kids.

Before, household decisions were made solely by the husband, and the women were left alone to manage the house and children. But now, thanks to the teachings of the Fathers' Club, communication has improved between Diack and his wife and they make family decisions together as partners and equals.

 



“All my friends know that I partake in the housework and some of them have taken me as an example. They do as I do,” says Diack, a role model of change in his community.

 
Diack’s children, three girls and two boys, stand smiling

Some of Diack’s happy and healthy children.

Diack wants the best for his children, and thanks to your help, he can better support his family and their dreams. His daughter also fights to break gender norms, and hopes to be a police officer when she’s older.

Diack believes in his daughter and in his fellow fathers of change from the club, powered by your support.

Thank you for encouraging Diack and many other dads to become more engaged fathers and put the health, care and equality of their families first.
Diack holds his baby son and they happily look in each other’s eyes.

“My greatest wish, as a legacy, is to have a lodging built for the midwives at the health post,” shares Diack, inspired to do even more for local health.

With midwives onsite at the local health post, more mothers in Diack’s village can have safe deliveries closer to home and continue to change the birth story. And, with proud health sponsors like you backing this important project, he has new hope his dream will come true– together helping protect even more lives.

 



You already do so much to protect global health, and now your signature can continue to help even more moms, dads and babies live healthier, happier lives in strong, nurturing families and communities.

 

Sign our pledge to stand for better health for all!

Project undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada.