Two weekends ago, Moi, our Sponsorship Coordinator, organized a meeting with all of the parents and children in the program. The theme of the meeting was the role of parents in their child's lives, as Moi felt that many parents in the program were not fulfilling their parental responsibilities. The meeting also provided a forum for the parents to raise any issues or concerns about the program.
Lunch was provided and there were a series of speakers including Becky, our Girls Counselor, a teacher from Ayany Primary School, which some of our students attend, and Moi. Each of the speakers stressed the importance of being actively involved in the lives of their children every day. This can be a challenge for parents who are struggling with their health, working long hours, and dealing with economic hardship. Becky discussed the effects on the psychological and emotional well-being of children when parents are too busy to spend time with them. The teacher spoke about the need for parents to attend school and meet with teachers so that they are aware of how they can supplement their child's education at home. Moi spoke about his job as Sponsorship Coordinator and how much time he spends catering to the needs of the children but that ultimately, he is not the parent of every child in the program and they all need to play their part as well.
The parents were all really receptive to the speakers and had a lot to contribute about what they hoped to achieve as parents and as participants in the program. Many of them expressed gratitude to the program for the support. One of the mothers who received a business loan spoke about the progress that her business has made and how she is moving toward being able to provide for her children without outside help. One of the fathers, who works long hours and is often not home, agreed that he felt it was not fair for the parents to accept help from the program and not hold up their end of their responsibility to their children.
The parents and speakers were all really pleased with the outcome of the meeting and we hope to have them on a regular basis from now on.