Lamberts Bay fisherman, Marius Brown, will undertake a 1890km “Redemption Run” with the support of Sonke Gender Justice and the Department of Social Development, to raise awareness about the issues of absent fathers and the impact it has on children and society, by running from Cape Town to Durban and then participating in the Comrades Marathon.
The 2016 Redemption run, which will start from the Cape Town City Hall on 16 April 2016 and end with the Comrades Marathon on 29 May, is a 43-day campaign to promote involvement and active participation of men in the lives of their children and partners, in response to the prevalence of absent fathers in South African society. Supported by Sonke Gender Justice and Department of Social Development, the campaign will also highlight the benefits of positive parental involvement to fathers, their children, their partners and to society.
South Africa has one of the highest rates of father absence in the world with one out of two fathers being absent from the lives of their children. “For the most part of my life, I grew up without an active father and so I vowed that I would never let my children feel that empty space. I remember how alone, lost and confused I felt after my parents separated following years of constant fighting,” says runner, Marius Brown.
Brown became estranged from his children following his divorce from his wife and a range of personal problems. Recovering from his troubled past, in 2014 Brown initiated his first Redemption Run in an effort to reach out to his children and start the healing process between them.
This year, on the Redemption Run, Brown will stop in six towns where he will share his story with a group of fathers, parents, guardians, government officials and community members. Sonke MenCare trainers will conduct training and dialogue sessions with fathers, families, communities, and government on involved fatherhood and how to be a better father or father figure.
“During the past three years MenCare+ interventions have shown that fathers who attend these interventions are more open to gender equitable attitudes. After attending MenCare parenting groups, these fathers are also more open to supporting their partners and to engage in childcare duties. As a country, we therefore, need a comprehensive strategy to address father absence because research results show clear benefits for both children, women, and the economy if fathers become actively involved in the lives of their children and partners”, Says Andre Lewaks, Manager for MenCare South Africa.
According to a study on “live births” in 2014 by Statistics South Africa:
- About 31% of mothers were recorded as being married, meaning it’s possible the father might be absent in the household or the child’s life.
- Over 1.1 million births were registered, but 64% had no information on fathers, as not all birth certificates need to include info on the father.
- One in every three children lives with both biological parents.
- Research shows that the number of fathers, who were absent and alive, increased between 1996 and 2009, from 42% to 48%. Over the same period, the proportion of fathers, who were present, decreased from 49% to 36%.
- Prince (2009), in research on the South African family, found that single mothers are raising about 40% of South Africa’s approximately 18 million children.
We invite everyone that supports Marius in his Redemption Run to join us at the start of his journey on 16 April 2016, at 10:00 at the City Hall, where we will cheer him off and show our support.
Official partners of the Redemption Run 2016:
South African Police Services: http://www.saps.gov.za
Catalyst Communications: http://www.catalystcommunications.co.za
Sonke Gender Justice: http://www.genderjustice.org.za
Department of Social Development: http://www.dsd.gov.za
About Marius Brown:
Marius Brown is a fisherman and father of three from Lamberts Bay along the West Coast of South Africa. On 13 January 1986, 15 year old Marius watched his only brother drown, helplessly, in front of his own eyes. As the years passed by, Marius struggled to accept his brother’s death and had a tremendous sense of guilt in his heart for not being able to save his brother.
Later in Marius’ life, he and his wife divorced – for Marius, his only escape was through alcohol. This was a dark time for Marius as he watched his entire life fall apart.
During the lowest point in his life in 2008, something miraculous happened in Marius’ life, which he saw as a turning point and is entirely grateful for. When returning to Lambert’s Bay Ian Roberts, a well-known South African actor and Barbara Snell, award winning producer and founder of Portal Films, offered him a role in their movie, “EVERYMAN’S TAXI’’. During this time, Marius realized how he has deserted his own children and how he has not fulfilled all the promises he had made to them. It was during this time that Marius knew he had to break out of his state of self-pity and addiction to alcohol and turn his life around for the better.
About Sonke Gender Justice:
Sonke Gender Justice works to create and promote positive change for men, women and children so that each may enjoy equitable and healthy relationships that may contribute to the development of such a society. The project will be implemented by Sonke’s MenCare Parenting program. MenCare believes that gender-equal parenting holds benefits for men and men’s well-being; it promotes women’s and children’s rights, promotes sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), believes that transforming fatherhood will reduce gender-based violence, seeks the transformation of parenting practices to end violence against children, and supports non-biological parents and recognizes diversity in parenting.
Department of Social Development (DSD) Western Cape is supporting this campaign as part of its Provincial Strategic Objective 3 “Increasing wellness, safety, and reducing social ills. Strong families improve the life chances of individual family members. Services to families are rooted within the Family Strengthening Approach – a framework that recognises family as the most fundamental factor influencing the lives and outcomes of children; and that families are strong when safe and thriving neighborhoods and communities support them. The above objective is also linked to DSD’s National Outcome 11: “Creating a better South Africa and contributing to a better and safer Africa in a better world”.
|DAY||DATE||ROUTE PLAN FROM CAPE TOWN TO DURBAN VIA N2 Garden Route- estimted distance 1800 km||KM|
|1||Sat||16 April 2016||Cape Town to Somerset-West||60|
|2||Son||17 April 2016||Strand to Kleinmond||55|
|3||Mon||18 April 2016||Kleinmond to Stanford||60|
|4||Tues||19 April 2016||REST DAY @ STANFORD|
|5||Wed||20 April 2016||Stanford to Riviersondered||60|
|6||Thurs||21 April 2016||Riviersonderend to Swellendam||60|
|7||Fri||22 April 2016||Swellendam to Heidelberg||55|
|8||Sat||23 April 2016||REST DAY IN HEIDELBERG|
|9||Sun||24 April 2016||Heidelberg to Albertinia||67|
|10||Mon||25 April 2016||Albertinia to Mossel Bay||55|
|11||Tues||26 April 2016||Mossel Bay to George||55|
|12||Wed||27 April 2016||REST DAY @ GEORGE|
|13||Thurs||28 April 2016||George to Knysna||60|
|14||Fri||29 April 2016||Knysna to Plettenberg Bay||35|
|15||Sat||30 April 2016||Plettenberg Bay to Stormsrivier||65|
|16||Sun||01 May 2016||Stormsrivier to Kareedouw||53|
|17||Mon||02 May 2016||REST DAY @ KAREEDOUW|
|18||Tues||03 May 2016||Kareedouw to Humansdorp||55|
|19||Wed||04 May 2016||Humansdorp to Thornhill||44|
|20||Thurs||05 May 2016||Thornhill to Port Elizabeth||55|
|21||Fri||06 May 2016||REST DAY @ PORT ELIZABETH|
|22||Sat||07 May 2016||Port Elizabeth to Amakhala Game Reserve||65|
|23||Sun||08 May 2016||Amakhala Game Reserve to Grahamstown||65|
|24||Mon||09 May 2016||Grahamstown to Peddie||67|
|25||Tues||10 May 2016||REST DAY @ PEDDIE|
|26||Wed||11 May 2016||Peddie to King William’s Town||60|
|27||Thurs||12 May 2016||King William’s Town to East London||77|
|28||Fri||13 May 2016||REST DAY @ EAST LONDON|
|29||Sat||14 May 2016||East London to Komga||55|
|30||Sun||15 May 2016||Komga to Butterworth||53|
|31||Mon||16 May 2016||Butterworth to Dutywa||35|
|32||Tues||17 May 2016||REST DAY @ DUTYWA|
|33||Wed||18 May 2016||Dutywa to Mthatha||86|
|34||Thurs||19 May 2016||Mthatha to Qumbu||65|
|35||Fri||20 May 2016||Qumbu to Mt. Frere||40|
|36||Sat||21 May 2016||REST DAY @ MT. FRERE|
|37||Sun||22 May 2016||Mt. Frere to Mt. Ayliff||50|
|38||Mon||23 May 2016||Mt. Ayliff to Kokstad||40|
|39||Tues||24 May 2016||Kokstad to Harding||72|
|40||Wed||25 May 2016||REST DAY @ HARDING|
|41||Thurs||26 May 2016||Harding to Port Shepstone||76|
|42||Fri||27 May 2016||Port Shepstone to Umkomaas||73|
|43||Sat||28 May 2016||Umkomaas to Durban||50|