â€˜Here in our community, we have become individualistic in our childcare,â€™ claims Pastor George. â€˜Before, the whole community would take responsibility for raising children. But now, we only care for our own children and ignore those of other people.â€™
Odeth and Emma of APRECOM are leading a good parenting workshop for parents in Bukora. They are using aÂ combination of group discussions and role plays, to help the parents understand Godâ€™s pattern for family and make practical changes in how they relate to their children.
The discussion which follows Pastor George’s commentÂ is animated. Itâ€™s obvious that the parents have an almost endless capacity for debate, and have strong views on why the community is not as proactive in caring for its children as it once was.
â€˜Itâ€™s because of the numbers of refugees who have flooded into this area,â€™ says one man. â€˜We no longer have the close-knit sense of community we used to have. We would be afraid of interacting with a child we do not know.’
This is typical of the issues that APRECOM’s parenting training is seeking to address. Gradually, things are changing. Parents testify that they are now listening to their children and no longer beating them if they do something wrong. They are starting to build loving relationships with their children and to encourage them to attend the APRECOM childrenâ€™s group.
In the coming year, Odeth plans to get parents from this group to help start parenting groups in other areas in Bukora, and to share their experience. â€˜We have only just startedâ€™, Odeth smiles.