Honouring dads around the world

Jun 04, 2015
10-Minute Read
When I was five, my father bought boat tickets to transport us from our home in South Africa to a new life in Canada.
It was the apartheid era. My dad knew that my new baby brother would be required to serve in the South African military, possibly at age 17, helping maintaining the enforced separation between white and black South Africans. My Dad had no contacts in Canada, and very little money in the bank. But he wanted to do his best for his kids. He wanted us to grow up in a place where all human beings were equal.
As Father's Day approaches, I wanted to learn how dads around the world encourage, mentor and care for their children. Looking through the World Vision photo database, I found dozens of men who go to immense lengths for their little ones.
I invite you to share in their stories, this Father's Day, and share them with a dad close to you. You may also want to consider sponsoring a child this Father's Day, so that a dad and his entire family can have the essentials they need for a bright and happy future. 

man kneels on top of rubble of collapsed homes in nepal
Nepal: Raju – Mourning a beloved child  
“I would have done anything to save my boy”, says Raju, remembering the earthquake which took the life of his baby son. A few minutes before the earthquake struck, the cows were very restless. Raju stepped outside of the house to feed them. During that time, the house shook, killing his little boy. 
Father holds smiling daughter in his lap with mosquito net in the background
India, Adinbokto – Tucking in at bed time 
It may look like he’s playing a game with his daughter, Ruthi. But when it comes to making sure Ruthi’s mosquito net is properly hung and tucked in, Adinbokto means business. He can’t forget his daughter’s life-and-death battle with malaria, when she was just a toddler. “Now she is safe,” he says with a smile. Give a mosquito net in the honour of a dad
man speaking to group of five children and one woman living in makeshift camp
Karwan, northern Iraq – Feeding the fatherless 
Karwan, a gas station owner, is helping care for dozens of families who are camping on the front lawn of his business. In many cases, fathers have been killed in violence back home. Karwan has stepped in, looking after as many children as possible. “I try to give them lunch and dinner, and provide diapers for the babies,” he says.     
a teenage zimbabwean girl stands and looks off in the distance
Mozambique, Daniel – A legacy of love   
Daniela stands in front of the sturdy house her father built for his family, before he and Daniela’s mother passed away. Both were very ill. “I had to finish this house, so my daughters would have a place for their heads,” Daniela remembers him saying. Now Daniela’s grandparents rent out the house, and use the proceeds to feed and educate the girls.
A man sits with his wife and five children of various ages outside their home in the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic, Esteban – Teaching respect for women  
Many teenagers in Esteban’s community (centre, with children on his lap) drop out of school and use drugs. The teen pregnancy rate is extremely high. The World Vision aid worker is trying to reverse those trends, creating clubs to guide and support young people. Esteban’s children say he sets a strong example, by the type of husband and father he is. “I’m learning many things from him about how to treat a woman well,” says his teenaged son, Emanuel (left).
a dad in india gives his daughter a piggyback while they eat ice cream cones
India, Mangay – Going for ice cream 
Mangay works hard to make sure his eleven-year-old daughter Mahima feels special. In a community where child marriage is high, fathers in World Vision’s Men Care Group learn the value of nurturing their daughters, not just their sons. “The group helps men to understand themselves, their spouses, and their children – specifically their daughters,” he says.
mongolian father holds his young daughter and looks at her smiling
Mongolia, Bayanbat – Finding joy in adversity    
Bayanbat loves laughing with his four-year-old daughter, no matter how tough life gets. The severe winter snow of 2010 killed most of his animals. With help from World Vision, Bayanbat and other men formed a group to grow hay to feed their livestock during tough winters, and vegetables to nourish their families and sell for extra income.
In South Sudan a father who is also a farmer holds tomatoes in his hands
South Sudan, Jumar – Feeding the family  
Ensuring that your children are fed can be unspeakably difficult when you’re all living on the run. But Jumar has grown vegetables like these beautiful tomatoes for his wife and five children, with the help of seed from World Vision. The family, originally refugees from Darfur, is now displaced by violence within South Sudan.  
In Ethiopia, a father sits in a classroom while his son studies in the background
Ethiopia, Jotte – Providing an education  
With his son Dagnachuo completing homework nearby, Jotte describes his joy at his children’s progress. Thanks to loans from World Vision, he increased his property, earned more income, and is sending all of his children to school. Now, Jotte dreams of make a bigger difference, training other parents to improve the yields in their own fields.
In Honduras a man prays with his head bowed in a church
Honduras, Francisco – The humility to change 
Francisco used to suffer from what he calls mental poverty: chauvinism, infidelity and alcoholism. He frequently used household income to pay for his addictions, instead of supporting his six children. When a new priest came to his community, Francisco started seeing a different way of living. “Today, I’m not a chauvinist,” he says. “I appreciate and love my wife and children.”
In El Salvador, a dad plays soccer with his two toddler age sons
El Salvador, Juan – Soccer Dad
The love between Juan and his little boy, Noe (right) is visible. The two are separated only when Juan goes to the fields for planting. Juan smiles whenever Noe runs up to him for a hug and a game of soccer. What is a father willing to do for his child’s health, a World Vision workers asked him? “Give my life, if possible,” says Juan.