First Lady Monica Geingos has urged fathers to take care of their children because it is their responsibility as parents.
Geingos said whether the father got the child in or out of wedlock, he should look after the child or children not only from a financial perspective but an emotional perspective as well.
“You need to look after your children. Your children are not the responsibility of your parents or grandparents, they are yours,” stated Geingos during the recent donation of HIV/syphilis duo test kits to Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (Nappa) at the women centre in Okuryangava.
Nappa works in advancing youth sexual and reproductive health services in the country and particularly in Windhoek’s underprivileged suburb of Katutura, where the majority of the underserved community lives.
“When I talk about fatherlessness, we need to do something about our Namibian men who are unfortunately not looking after their children. When I talk about fatherlessness, I am not talking about physical presence. A father can be in the house with his children and still not be a father. A father can be paying maintenance and still not be a father. I am talking about men who care about their offspring,” stressed the first lady.
“We must break this chain. Many of us were raised without a father, male and female alike, or raised by a father who wasn’t worth it and the worse you can do is do the same to your child,” she stated.
“You have an opportunity to break that cycle and it is your generation that is going to change. I think our generation upwards is destroyed, that’s why you see what you see at the moment. You have a chance to change and talk to one another,” she said directly to male attendees.
Geingos further said she visited correctional facilities and found a lot of young men who should not have been there, not because they didn’t commit a crime but because it could have been stopped. She said one of the things many of them repeatedly mentioned was fatherlessness and a lack of love. “That frustration started articulating in violence and I am noticing among girls that there is a propensity to solve arguments through violence.”
The first lady also spoke about abortion. She said the nation cannot defend baby dumping because there isn’t access to abortion. “We need to give young people choices about making decisions. If you have a baby and have gone through the procedures, there is no excuse to kill a human life in the current ways babies are being killed. Even for that we have to find alternatives, whether it is building a little nest in the wall here at Nappa, where someone can come and anonymously dump the baby – rather that. If it is giving access to reproductive support, or giving out condoms at school or wherever they need to be, rather that.”