The Government of Malawi in partnership with Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO), and Parenting in Africa Network (PAN) hosted the 2nd Pan African Conference on Parenting, at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi from 16th to 17th October, 2013.

Parenting in Africa Network (PAN) is a Network of organizations, individuals and institutions keen to promote skilful parenting practices in Africa, for the overall wellbeing of children and families. PAN ultimately works to strengthen families through advocacy on skillful parenting in Africa, in line with priority Number 6 of the AU (African Union) Plan of Action on the family: Strengthening of family relationships. Active membership is spread across Eastern and Southern Africa, but, we are gaining ground into North, Central and West Africa.

The conference converged experts and representatives of national, regional and international organizations, government officials and partners committed to strengthening families, to discuss parenting issues to inform policy and practice on skillful parenting in Africa.

The conference shall officially be opened by the Principle Secretary of Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Dr. Mary Shawa.

A the beginning of the year 2013, PAN has conducted roundtable meetings (successfully in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Ethiopia, among others) as well as a relevant PAN African survey in the countries where her membership (organisations and individuals working with families and children) is represented. The theme for the 2013 Regional Conference is: “Adolescents (boys and girls) with parenting responsibilities”, The preceeding engagements with members shall culminate in a collective voice at the Malawi conference.

Assumption of Teen-Parenting responsibilities
The parenting roles of adolescents may be as a result of teen pregnancy or having physically or psychologically ‘absent’ parents due to death, illness, work commitments, or social ills. As a network, we hope to collectively contribute to behaviour – change in teen (biological) parents, to enable them be resilient, and reach their full potential. Further, members shall be better placed to support teenagers with parenting responsibilities to skillfully parent the children under their care, but most importantly strengthen their relationships with the wider family and society.

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