Dad and son have already become an annual tradition at Karabin. 55% of children in Ukraine live with one of their biological parents, usually without a father, because he is either not there at all or he is working abroad long time. In our culture, we are used to the fact that if a family cannot go on vacation together usually the father sends the mother with the children – and that’s good.
Although, we know that boys especially need intentional and active involvement of the father in their lives. That is the reason why we organized two Dad and Son weekends, which were entitled ‘Children will always remember what you do together’, and this was the emphasis of the weekend program. Dads gathered away from the children for training for only an hour and a half in the afternoon and the rest of the time they did everything together. For many fathers this was their first experience. For the children it was incredible. They did not expect much from dads, they were just happy to be together. We respond to the need that God spoke of through the prophet Malachi 4:6 “He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”
We seek to help parents and children find each other. We strive to inspire parents to take responsibility for their families, and to rise their own parental competence. As a matter of fact, at the beginning of the summer we planned to make one such weekend, but there were too many people willing, so we made two. It is interesting how each father who joined was a unique and interesting interlocutor. Among the fathers were doctors and police officers, UN staff and clergy, IT specialists and analysts, each was interested in getting closer to their children.
“For as long as I can remember, my father has always been dedicated to work. I come from a long line of doctors, so I became one as well. Today I work at the hospital named on my father’s behalf . My father’s efforts have always been aimed at my future. It forced me to study; it would always set the bar too high for me; it always set an example and insisted on the importance of building a professional career, but I realize that it paid little attention to my inner world. I am here with my son today. I really want to understand him, and not just be an example for him, but a friend and helper, while he is growing up, both physically and spiritually. I want my son to be better than me when he grows up, not to repeat my mistakes, to take care of his holistic development: not only intellectually and physically, but also spiritually. Another memorable moment for our family was the family coat of arms, which we were making and will finish it with my wife when we return home.Alexander M., ENT doctor, Odesa