Brown, who was a child with an absent father, vowed he would never allow his children to experience the same. “I remember how alone, lost and confused I felt after my parents separated following years of constant fighting,” says Brown.
However, even Brown is aware that hoping for something and actively doing something are different, as he was estranged from his children following his divorce from their mother. Once Brown recovered from his troubled past, he initiated his first Redemption Run in 2014 to reach out to his own children and to begin the healing process.
This year’s run will see Brown stopping in six towns, where he will share his story with fathers, parents, guardians, government officials and community members.
Statistics show that only one in three children lives with both biological parents. 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%. Research on the South African family, found that single mothers are raising about 40% of South Africa’s approximately 18 million children.
Supported by Sonke Gender Justice and the Department of Social Development, Brown wants to create a comprehensive strategy to address father absence. In the three years that MenCare has intervened in the lives of fathers, the men feel more empowered to engage in their children’s lives and to support them and their partners.
Brown’s run will begin on 16 April at 10:00 from the City Hall and members of the public are encouraged to attend the send off to show solidarity and support for this initiative.
The run is due to end in time for Brown to participate in the Comrades Marathon.
Should you wish to interview Marius or a Sonke spokesperson, please contact email@example.com or phone 021 035 0351 / 073 897 0012.