Fathers Matter is one of many organisations in South Africa working to change the narrative around fatherhood in South Africa. Part of its work is to create spaces for these groups to meet together to engage and network. With COVID-19 restrictions now lifted, Fathers Matter was able to host its first in-person networking event in Rosebank, Johannesburg on 28 July 2022.
Fathers Matter Project Coordinator Lereko Mfono explains that the purpose of the event was to “fulfil a post-COVID mission of connecting multiple partner organisations and stakeholders in the physical and create an environment of networking. Secondly, in anticipation of the launch of the Fathers Matter films, we wanted to be able to share the campaign with stakeholders and find ways to get them involved as well. We are stronger together, and that was the heart for the event.”
Thirty-eight participants attended the event, representing between 20 and 25 organisations. One of the most interesting topics that was raised during the discussion time was around how different groups monitor and evaluate the impact of their work. There were also questions that centred around collaboration.
Lereko adds that his personal highlights included seeing connections being made and observing the excitement and response to the screening of one of the upcoming Heartlines Fathers Matter films.
“The value [of these events] is to bring people together in the hopes that we can fill each other’s gaps and strengthen the network. Heartlines has always thrived through strategic partnerships, and a network event allows us to serve the sector by creating opportunity for collaboration for all – including us,” he says.
You can read about previous networking events here.
Pictures by Kabelo Mpotoane