At least 50 men and 15 evangelical church pastors trained on DSWD’s ERPAT are now setting trends in community participation, savings mobilization, gender sensitivity, and in building better families in Anda, Pangasinan.
With the supervision of Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Jowey Celso, strategies and success stories of fathers trained by DSWD on Empowerment and Reaffirmation on Paternal Abilities Training (ERPAT) serve as an inspiration to other fathers not yet ERPAT- trained.
Regular weekly meetings on values reorientation and discussion on status of community projects such as green leafy vegetable production are conducted.
At present, the group is earning on their green leafy vegetable production that uses nutrition farming technology. Aside from earning additional money for the family, consumption of healthy and organic vegetables is also assured.
These ERPAT trained fathers are also engaged in the Self Help Group (SHeG) which enables them to save from their contribution of at least Php 20.00 a week. The savings is used for micro lending and start up group projects in the community.
Realizations of roles at home and in community are imbibed among the ERPAT-trained fathers. ‘Ang pagiging responsable at matibay na tungkod ng pamilya, ang hindi magpatalo sa hirap ng buhay ay ilan sa mga natutunan namin sa ERPAT (We learned about being responsible and a strong leader in the family, and not to be defeated by poverty) , said ERPAT trained Jacinto Caniedo.
‘Pag andito kami sa grupo, nadadagdagan kaalaman namin (With this ERPAT group, we have enhanced our learning), Larry Carlit further confirmed.
Men’s Views, Changed Lives
As a municipal strategy, each barangay has a designate ERPAT Focal Person to train more fathers and encourage them to follow the enhanced parenting skills and start transformation in their own families.
Thus, group of fathers gather weekly, learning from each other’s issues on parenting and other family problems, which they also resolved within their groups if not referred to the Barangay Council.
A 26-year old father, Reggie Africa, appreciated the ERPAT as a guide for younger fathers to build stronger support among fellow men in a more responsive way. As such, understanding wives on their multiple tasks and helping them finish household chores after fathers’ regular work is now being practiced.
Diosdado Cali, 44, who has 11 children used to be a drunkard and a gambler, but with ERPAT and Pantawid Pamilya Program, he shunned these activities already. He believes the ERPAT way wherein couples must be first disciplined in order to build a better family. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, DSWD-Information Officer II)