Fathers Against Abuse Zimbabwe (FAA)
There are great efforts worldwide by various players to eliminate violence against women and girls. To achieve a vibrant ecosystem that allows thriving communities where men and women peacefully co-exist, a lot of CSOs are now focusing on impacting the life of the boy child starting with the foundational years. It is mostly believed that the main perpetrators of such evil are men, though lately many are now victims.
In light of the women’s month celebrations we took the time to sit down for a short conversation with the founder of Fathers Against Abuse Zimbabwe (FAA), Mr. Alois Nyamazana to hear the great initiatives that FAA is currently undertaking. *Dorothy Rudo Nyagumbo (DRN), Alois Nyamazana
DRN: What inspired the formation of FAA?
AN: What inspired the formation of FAA was the great need to respond to all forms of gender injustice and gender based violence. We decided to focus on men and boys and bring in men as part of the solution providers.
DRN: What are your views on the current state of affairs especially regarding the youth?
AN: Our young people are faced with a plethora of challenges that include drug and substance use, child marriages, economic shocks, unemployment and many others. These challenges require mentorship, guidance and awareness raising. Mental health and suicidal tendencies are now topical issues amongst the youth. The onus is on us and all those who care about the welfare of the young ones in our society and fathers are being called upon to rise and come in as mentors and help shape the destinies of future generations.
DRN: What impact do you seek to achieve in 5-10years from now?
AN: Our vision is to see a significant reduction in all the vices that has engulfed communities, mostly the family circle. We hope to see thriving families and a society that is free from gender based violence, for both the male and female.
DRN: FAA is running a mentorship program for boys. Why boys? Tell us more.
AN: A lot of emphasis has been placed on the girl child but we realised that boys lives matter too. We are placing a major focus on teenagers. Our teenage boys are facing a lot and we have noted that quite a number of unhealthy behaviours occur at puberty level. The mentorship program seeks to guide boys as they transition into adulthood. We hope to address issues around mental health and toxic masculinity. One of the main area of focus is about personal branding i.e. we seek to mold boys who are aware of themselves, boys with an ability to control their emotions (emotional intelligence).
As we coach, we will pair these boys with people (mentors) who will guide them in all identified areas in line with their personalities. Ultimately from all these efforts, the essence is centered on moulding responsible citizens who support gender equality at all levels. We do not seek to journey on our own. We sincerely hope that our interventions will bring an awareness on the importance of impacting the lives of our children even at family level. Let us all remember, men have a great role to play in supporting women. I conclude by saying, abusive men didn’t fall from the sky, someone raised a boy wrongly. It’s easier to train a boy, than to correct a man. Thank you.