Frustrated by not having seen his son for more than 2 years, Orrock Robertsen decided to startChildren Need Both Parents, a movement dedicated to improving the rights of fathers in South Africa.
On how it all began, Robertsen says, “I began posting my story on social media, more out of anguished expression than anything else. To my surprise, I started getting feedback from men around the country. The more I posted about my experience the more men responded. All echoing my sentiment surrounding the fact that they had been alienated from their kids. Some up to 7 years without seeing their children.”
He adds: “I thought we lived in country whereby it’s a given that men don’t care about their kids! I was literally getting 100+ messages from fathers a day, all traumatised all screaming for help! All wanting just to see their kids.
Children Need Both Parents.”
The widespread support he received, Robertsen points out, encouraged him to set up a dedicated organisation.
“I established Children Need Both Parents as a Platform for alienated fathers to engage and get support. I have fielded countless calls from fathers late at night wanting to kill themselves, they needed a platform. This has become my full time life. Assisting alienated fathers.”
1000 Km Children Need Both Parents Walk
According to Robertsen, The Walk seeks to bring more awareness to parental alienation and raise funds for a Constitutional Court Class Action on behalf of Father’s in SA. It also seeks to inspire other alienated fathers out there to speak up. He plans to walk 1000 km unassisted.
The route is from JHB to a small village in the Eastern Cape called Nqamakwe. The reason for the walk to Nqamakwe is to engage with his son’s uncles and great uncles about issues pertaining to his son. The walk will take place from the 10th of April 2019 and Robertsen should arrive in Nqamakwe around 20 May 2019.
The walk will be filmed and feature interviews with everyday South African men. Robertsen will for the first 200km of the walk be joined by the founder of Awaken, an NGO that speaks specifically to Black Fathers. And So Says My Dad will join Robertsen for the last 300 km of the walk. So Says My Dad is an organization that has been doing really amazing work with fathers in rural Eastern Cape.
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