EQUIP men to lead.
The statistics don’t lie. In the US, 71% of high school dropouts grow up without a father. 80% of inmates have no fatherly influence growing up. 71% of pregnant teen girls come from fatherless homes. 63% of suicides occur in young people who do not have a father present in the home. To be sure, these aren’t isolated incidents to dismiss as statistical anomalies. These are real people with real brokenness, many of whom are honest enough to share the void they carry because Dad was a consistent no-show in the family structure.
In developing nations in Africa and elsewhere, the problem is no less prevalent. On one occasion, one of our partners, when asked where all the men were at 10 a.m., replied, “Drinking.” Other men who would otherwise take care of their children, simply cannot afford to. The shame and lack of dignity associated with such a predicament drives many to place their children in group homes and orphanages.
One strategy we have employed to combat this issue is to hold Men’s Conferences aimed at equipping men to understand they matter to God, and thus they matter to those whom God loves – their families. In Africa especially, it’s rare to see a large group of men gathering together for mutual encouragement and edification, and our pastor partners have seen both short-term and long-term impact from this initiative.
We have also piloted a Men’s Leadership Program in Jinja aimed at teaching discipleship, accounting skills, entrepreneurship, and the power of pooled resources. We’re excited to refine these programs so that men can once again lead in their families and communities in the way God has designed them. When men lead, their families follow, and we are absolutely convinced that this is the critical component in seeing Less Orphans, More Families.