Fathers’ Association of Seychelles re-launched |06 March 2023
The Fathers’ Association of Seychelles is back on its feet thanks to collaborative assistance from the Ministry of Local Government & Community Affairs and the Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (Ceps).
The revamped Fathers’ Association of Seychelles was re-launched in a special ceremony held on Friday evening at the National Museum of History.
The aim of the association is to highlight the efforts and positive contribution of fathers in the community, especially in the family as opposed to the negative stereotypes against them.
The Fathers’ Association lost steam over the years but a group of devoted fathers have come together to bring fresh impetus into the association so the fathers in the country can receive the support and motivation to be more responsible.
The association is composed of 18 members among whom 7 are elected executive members with Charles Zialor as chairman, Mervin Camille as vice-chairman while the treasurer and secretary are Chadley Esparon and Maxime Louise, respectively.
The other executive members are Laurent Moumou, Roger Labonte, Jason Damou. For the first time, a lady, in the person of Sabrina Marie, has been nominated to join on the committee as a honorary member.
Apart from the members of the association, present at the launch ceremony were the speaker of the National Assembly, Roger Mancienne; ministers; principal secretaries; leader of government business in the National Assembly, Hon. Bernard Georges; the chief executive of Ceps, Alvin Laurence; and other guests.
Addressing the gathering, the principal secretary for Local Government and Community Affairs, Kevin Perrine, said that even though there are many responsible fathers who are playing their roles as fathers, there is a group of them that are facing many challenges in terms of low self esteem, drug and alcohol, depression, relationship problems, family problems, conflicts and in isolation, among others, who need support and the association will be there to guide them.
“Our children need role models to guide them, to love them and to help them grow up with good values and the best role models are their parents who include their fathers. I am confident that the association will attain its objective in helping to build a better society for young people to live and grow,” PS Perrine said.
For his part Mr Zialor said that they want to transform the negative image on fathers in the community to that of a positive one given that fathers have primordial roles to play in the family and in society which most of the time favours a gender more than the other.
He added that the association will also work with affiliated partners to ensure that fathers and young boys are given the empowerment to fulfill their roles as fathers.
“Our wish is to create an environment where fathers can feel comfortable, make friends and grow their social circle with other men who have the same aspiration and determination to make a difference,” Mr Zialor said.
He thanked past members of the association for the work done and the new members for coming forward to devote their time to make a difference in the lives of the Seychellois fathers. He also thanked the Ministry of Local Government & Community Affairs and Ceps for engaging with them on the journey.
He called on men and young boys to be in contact with the association because apart from empowering them to be good citizens, it is also there to make their voices heard.
Taking the podium, Mr Laurence called on fathers not to be discouraged if they are not being heard as they will be given all the support necessary from the association and from other stakeholders including Ceps that will fully support the association as there is a need for stronger fathers in the society.
The association was blessed by Sifco representatives, Father Eric Leon from the Catholic Church and Reverend Danny Elizabeth from the Anglican Church. It also launched its logo designed by prominent artist, Nigel Henry.
As part of the entertainment, there were song performances by Father Leon and Mr Esparon and a poem by poet Andrea Mounac.
Mr Zialor also presented copies of the association’s constitution to various guests while he and other members of the committee in return accepted printed t-shirts for the association from Hon. Mancienne and other ministers present.
Text & photos by Patrick Joubert