Four dads recently took part in the Best Dad Ever training where they learned to talk about their emotions and connect with their inner self. This was done through different techniques, teaching the dads to act in a positive, natural way with their children.
This was the first time that a training of this kind took place on Saba. The 3-day training was facilitated by Sherman Milliard of the Telefon pa Hubentud Foundation, an organization that runs the youth telephone line in Aruba. This organization also assisted Saba with the Guana Chat telephone line for the Saba youth and the anti-bullying training.
The Best Dad Ever training was organized by the Department of Community Development. Preventive actions and events often focus on women and children, but it also important to involve the men and to work on the male empowerment, said Mildred Rijhiner, Domestic Violence Coordinator & Child Abuse of the Department of Community Development. The intention is for the four fathers who completed the Best Dad Ever training to give trainings to other dads in the course of this year.
One of the participants said that the Best Dad Ever training presents men with a safe place to talk about feelings, troubles and past experiences in their life. “It lets men know that the feelings that they experience are a normal part of life and being tough all the time is not necessary. The training teaches dads different ways that one can properly cope with certain situations. This helps the community to develop in a positive way and help break the stigmas about men,” the participant said.
The Department of Community Development also recently organized a second anti-bullying training. This time topics like sexting and internet bullying were discussed. The anti-bullying program that was used during the training will be introduced at the schools and other groups and organizations in the community in the course of this year in an effort to tackle this social issue which has far-reaching consequences for the victims.
An anti-bullying work group has been set up which will come up with activities to tackle bullying on Saba and to develop a logo that can be placed in locations to make a statement that bullying is not tolerated there.