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Meet Danny, a participant of Mothers' Union Parenting Programme
Danny is an ex-prisoner who was in Honiara men’s prison. It was here where he was part of the Mothers’ Union Parenting Programme. Danny is now a facilitator for the Positive Parenting Programme. Here, in his own words, he describes the positive impact the programme has had on his life
"Before I did the Positive Parenting Programme I didn’t know there were different ways to do parenting, our cultural ways are just….different. We are used to ignoring each other’s feelings and we didn’t really get taught empathy. The programme changed the way I communicate, I used to always want to dominate, I gave direction without asking others opinions, I made all the big decisions for the family that weren’t always right - now I talk with my family and we make joint decisions.
The course doesn’t ignore or criticise our culture, it just works with and improves it. We’re used to culturally degrading women. We judge women as labourers and men as their owners, the dictators – the Positive Parenting Programme makes you realise that’s not fair, it helps you see women and children as important in their own right and that you should treat with the respect they deserve. I realise now you need to have proper conversations with your wife and children, it’s more important than violence. Now WE speak the words. The right words so much more powerful.
We encouraged others in prison to do the course -they were desperate for it! They read our manuals and kept saying ‘this is me’ they could see their weaknesses – family violence is what bought most of them to prison so they were desperate to know how to work on it and make it better.
I phoned the day I got out of prison to ask to be trained as a facilitator. I did this because the course changed me - as a person and as a father. It changed me mentally and saved my relationship with my family. I want this for other families.
The clue is in the name, it’s called the POSITIVE parenting program, it’s so positive! I read that in the bible it says ‘my people are destroyed by their lack of knowledge.’ We HAVE this positive knowledge, we can’t hold it back from people, we need to share it!"