Hommes et pères immigrants
A program of L’Hirondelle, Welcoming and Integration Services for Immigrants
Fathers face many challenges in our society, and that is especially true of immigrant fathers. Imagine for a moment that you’ve just arrived in a foreign country and must now find a job, house and feed your family, register your children in school, complete numerous government forms, and so on. That’s what immigrant fathers are confronted with! Not to mention the challenges of social and cultural adaptation.
Hommes et pères immigrants is a mutual-support group which invites immigrant fathers to reflect, discuss and share on the changes in their life, family relationships and social role.
Participating fathers have access to individual follow-up, discussion meetings with other immigrant fathers, pairings with Quebec-born fathers, training workshops and a variety of family activities. The aim is to encourage immigrant fathers in their parenting and social roles by helping them break their isolation, build their self-esteem, enhance their parenting skills and develop ties with other fathers. They are also invited to share their experiences with university researchers, and during workshops offered to community workers and the general public.
Some 120 immigrant fathers participate in this highly successful program: 34% of their children are under age 5, and another 33% are aged 6 to 12.
Challenges facing immigrant fathers
- Learning to function in a new environment: finding a job, housing and feeding their family, registering their children in school, completing numerous government forms, etc.
- Building a social network: family, friends, neighbours, community, etc.
- Coping with cultural shock: grasping the values of the host country and coming to terms with them.
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