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…The International Association of Courageous Fathers (IACF), which has been operating for 15 years now, …
Патріоти є і в Донбасі! 15.10.2005
Mr. Moms petition for paid vacation
Ukrainian single fathers asked the government to add Father's Day to the official calendar holiday. The fathers began collecting signatures to support the idea on Khreshchatyk - the main thorough-fare in Kyiv. The fathers of newborns demand that they be paid a two-week paid paternity leave.
They will continue collecting support signatures throughout the entire summer in different oblasts of Ukraine. The results will be made public in the fall and sub-mitted to the Verkhovna Rada to be regulated at the legislative level.
Yevhen Konovalov of the Donetsk oblast, the initiator and founder of the first in the world non-government organization of physically disabled divorced fathers, which raise their children with no mother, said:
"A physically disabled person of the second category was able to raise two sons from the age of 2 on his own. But for this he had to give up his career growth and personal life and experience the imperfec-tion of Ukrainian legislation.
Konovalov said: "There is no official notion of a single dad in Ukraine, nevertheless we have them. There are families in which the mother refuses to raise and take care of her children and transfers the responsibility to the father. But there are many cases where fathers have to defend their rights in court to be able to raise their children for many years. According to the law, a woman has priority rights to raise her child, with the exception when woman are registered as patients of a drug rehab center or a psychi-atric hospital. Naturally, it is very hard for a father to raise children on his own, but if he is ready to take upon himself this responsi-bility, then the state must help by ensuring equal rights."
Another activist of the so-called "dads' movement" is a Russian named Ivan Kositsky. He has unpleasant memories about Ukraine. His former wife is a citi-zen of Kryviy Rih. Ivan often travels to this city to visit his sons. The rare meetings with his sons only on condition of his wife's agreement and in her presence do not satisfy the loving father. He would like to spend more time with his children and decided to defend his rights to raise his chil-dren in a Ukrainian court. He wants justice to be done with the help of the the courageous fathers' organization mentioned above.
Oleg Bakulin, a citizen of Belarus, won his "war" - he raised two daughters and an adopted son. He can even boast about having grandchildren. Now he helps his fellow citizens by head-ing the movement of single fathers in his country. Oleg was a first-class pilot, who gave up his career for the sake of his chil-dren's well-being. He quit his job and started to work as a kinder-garten educator. Then he had to leave Belarus and for neighboring Russia. He rented a place to live there and secretly educated his children at home (in Russia and Ukraine schooling at home is tra-ditionally not practiced). Within three years the girls completed a five-year program.
Konovalov believes: "Fathers and mothers raise children totally differently. Single mothers are more inconsistent and emotional. They either overly care for their children or vent upon them. Fathers' methods of raising chil-dren are more stable. It is more beneficial for their children... Of course, little children love their mothers and need their support and understanding, but 98% of all the knowledge they gain and life experience comes from their fathers. My son, for example, wrote a research paper on this subject and received an A for it."
The International Association of Courageous Fathers (IACF), which has been operating for 15 years now, today has 242 Ukrainian families, 7 Belarusan families and two Russian families as its member. Different things brought them into this organiza-tion, but one thing unites them all:
it is infinite love for their children.
By Kateryna Slavina Photo by Misha Konovalov, (Kyiv Weekly No. 23 June 14, 2006)
Photo: veterans and activists of the fathers* movement in the former Soviet Union. From left to right: Myhailo Balandyuk from Lviv, Yevhen Konovalov from Donetsk oblast, who raised his three sons on his own, Oleh Bakulin (Belarus) and Ivan Kositsky (Russia).
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