Paul Singano is one of the fathers in the village of Navaya, Traditional Authority (T/A) N’gabu whose family has been transformed after being trained as one of the real fathers under the Breakthrough Action project which is being implemented by the Save the Children in partnership with Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) with funding from USAID.
According to Paul, the chief for the village chose him to be part of the training since he wanted the family of Paul to be transformed as it was experiencing numerous problems.
“I was very happy that I was picked to be one of the beneficiaries of the project for it has helped my family to be changed for the better as there was a problem between myself, wife, and 5 children,” said Paul.
Paul said that he used to never take good care of his family when he was noticing different problems. He used to never encourage his children on the importance of school.
“As it was a social norm in my village that children do not go further with their education, I used to never encourage my children on the dangers of not getting educated and even the importance of being educated,” said Paul.
During the training he received with CRECCOM under the Breakthrough Actin project, Paul said that he has acquired several topics that he did not know.
“The training has come at the right time and have learning different topics on having ambition, faith, love for my children, wife and even the whole family. I used to never provide support for my children but with the training I received, it is now history,” said Paul.
On the topic of loving my children, Paul said that he learned the importance of loving both his male and female children on the provision of basic needs and others.
“Bearing in mind that I have 4 make children and 1 girl, I saw that the training was fruitful enough as I learned different ways on how I can love them all and this is by providing all the basic needs they require such as school uniform, exercise books and even encouraging them on the importance of education regardless that I did not go further with my education, said Paul.
Paul said that he started encouraging his children every day on the importance of education bearing in mind that there was one of his children, Limbani, who dropped out of school due to peer pressure.
“I encourage my children that when one gets educated, he or she gets to have the type of professional job that he prefers in life. As for Limbani, I advised him that he is going to become poor if he does not go back to school,” said Paul.
According to Limbani, he said that he used to abscond classes due to peer pressure and also that he did not know the importance of being educated as most of the children of his age were not going to school and others were just busy looking after cattle as it one of the farming practices in the district of Chikwawa.
“I used to miss most of the classes and spend the time which I could be in class with my friends outside the classes playing. I was motivated by some of my friends who were not focused on their education until my father advised me on the importance of education following his training on how a father is supposed to love his children,” said Limbani.
Limbani is now back to school where he attends a night school at N’gabu Secondary school. He is currently in form 1 and would like to become a Medical Doctor.
Paul added on to appreciate the Breakthrough Action project to say that without the training, he could have not provided enough support to his children.
“I can ask my children about the basic needs that they need in their lives so that I could provide for them and when they ask for things like clothes, I am open to tell them that I do not have money but will buy when I find the money. This was different from the time when I did not receive the training under the Breakthrough Action project,” said Paul.
When he is free, Paul said that he encourages all his children to be studying hard in their education so that they should get good marks and also pass their exams and finish their education with flying colors.
Conquering with his father, Limbani said that he spends most of his time studying every day.
“Since I go for afternoon classes that start at 12:00 pm afternoon, I spend most of the time studying in the morning hours,” said Limbani.
The wife of Paul, Mary said that together with her husband, they do seat down together with their children in the evening when they are all back from school to advise them on the importance of education.
“We do tell them that we as parents are getting old and if you get educated then that is a bridge to your bright future,” said Mary.
Paul continued to say that that with his wife, Mary, he used to use harsh words to respond to her whenever she tries to ask for money to buy food and even relish.
Mary witnessed that her husband Paul is now a changed man as he no longer uses harsh words to respond to her whenever she asks for basic needs.
“We do seat down as a family to share on different basic needs that are needed. So far, we have managed to buy school uniforms for Limbani and the four other children who are at Nkhwangwa Primary School. We have also managed to pay school fees for them,” said Mary.
Mary said that this was not happening before her husband, Paul received the rain with the Breakthrough project.
To ensure that all the basic needs are provided for the family, Paul and Mary said that they depend on farming to find money so that they should buy all the basic needs that their family needs, especially their children.
COVID-19 came as one of the threats to the lives of many peoples which saw millions of deaths globally and even children dropping out of school due to early pregnancies and marriages. To the family of Singano, Mary said that they will not allow such type of pandemic to ruin the future of their children as they will keep on encouraging them on the importance of education so that they should not drop out of it.
“We will keep on informing them that school is not over and that they should keep on reading their school books,” said Mary.