In order to prevent children from losing the love and care of either parent during a parental divorce or separation, a Malawian NGO called Justice 4 Men is born, dedicated to defending men’s rights and advancing shared parenting in child rearing.
According to founder of the organization, who is also Director, UK based Lewis Kamundi, the organization prioritizes the child’s right to be raised and cared for equally by both parents after a divorce or separation so as to build a society that is more progressive.
He said; “The goal is to end fatherlessness and family breakdown, protect children from losing contact with either parent, promote equal treatment and shared parenting, and address high rates of male suicide, depression, and other health issues linked to family breakdown, including sexual abuse, rape, mental health issues, and incarceration.”
Kamundi said he was motivated to establish the organization after seeing what children face after a divorce, which is common in countries like the UK, where one parent takes an advantage after a divorce to block the other from accessing the children which affects them in the long run.
“Justice 4 Men aims to promote shared parenting and fatherhood in Malawi. We shall be organizing educational workshops and awareness campaigns to publicize the importance of fatherhood and the impact of losing contact with one parent on children’s well-being. In addition , we shall also be providing legal assistance and counselling services to parents going through divorce or separation, ensuring they both understand their rights and responsibilities”, added Kamundi.
He says they will also be providing mental health support to victims of mental health issues and lobby for research into mental health risk factors in surrounding communities.
The organization will also advocate for legal reforms that prioritize reinstating fatherhood in societies, shared parenting, and children’s rights. They will establish a toll-free national helpline to help report instances of children suffering due to separation, divorce, or bereavement of their parents or for the lack of a father in their lives.
They will also organize child-centered activities to help children cope with the challenges of divorce or separation. They will collaborate with other NGOs to create a more comprehensive support network for families going through challenging times.
Recent research suggests that the challenge for single-parent children is more connected to negative child-parent relationships, and stronger support networks may be key to understanding this difference.
Kamundi, therefore, pleads for couples in Malawi and those in diaspora to always sort their differences after a divorce so that the interests of their children are always prioritized.