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SAPPIN Families Indaba 2023

The SAPPIN Families Indaba saw a host of delegates descending upon Community House, Salt River. This event brought policymakers, government, businesses, civil society organisations, researchers, and funders together to bring about innovative change in Parenting Programmes in South Africa.

The overarching theme of the 2023 SAPPIN Families Indaba was “How support for families can inspire social change”. The questions and participation from all breakaway groups were overwhelming, with the biggest “pull” being towards the issue of fatherhood programmes and how we can include fathers in raising young children, but also how they can be supported through parent programmes. Currently, it is mostly mothers taking on the role of primary caregiver but there are many avenues for fathers to become involved in nurturing their children, which is something that is greatly missing in our society. Children need greater father figures as role models and men who can be looked up to by their children.

Among the panels lined up for the Indaba, one discussed “Innovative partnering for community well-being with a focus on families.” This panel was facilitated by Tarisai Mchuchu, Executive Director at Mosaic Women’s Training Service and Healing Centre.

Dr Nyasha Manjengenja represented CWBSA, participated in a panel discussion on how to create a conducive environment between implementors and research around evidence-based programming. This panel was facilitated by Chandre Gould, Senior Research Fellow in the Justice and Violence Prevention Programme, Institute for Security Studies (ISS).

Breakout sessions discussed everything from “What is your interpretation of social change?” to the role of fathers. Keynote speaker Mastoera Sadan spoke around prioritising families in all government policy documents and the historical background of Salt River, Cape Town in her own personal life.

What a striking message from the SAPPIN Families Indaba keynote speaker, Mastoera Sadan, Chief Sector Expert in the National Planning Commission Secretariat. In her message, she said the following: “I think in government we need to understand families better – not just the survey data on families but actually what is happening in families and how can we as government support families better. More importantly, when families engage with government, say in the health sector or education sector, the way we treat people must be respectful, always. ” – SAPPIN