The Guide to Restoration from Father-Pain

Guide to Restoration from Father-Pain


Father absence in South Africa:

65% of South African children grow up without their biological fathers. The effects are severe and South Africans experience it daily. The person, male and female, who grew up without a father or with an abusive father, experiences a father-pain and needs guidance to find restoration and learn skills for future relationships.


The purpose of this guide:

This guide will give the person with father-pain some direction. The professional helper and the mentor can also use this guide effectively.

Helpers could be social workers, therapists, psychologists, counselors, life coaches, faith leaders or other passionate people who want to help rebuild and restore the lives of those who are affected by father absence and abuse.


Learn from the experts:

Fathers’ Network is a network of organisations involved in addressing the father absence challenge. The Father-Pain individuals experience has serious effects on individuals, families and society. Several network-members participated in this project to provide from their expertise guidelines for restoration to individuals experiencing a father-pain as well as to professionals rendering services to these individuals. Counselling and mentor-ship are 2 core aspects of restoration and a fresh way forward.

Follow this guide and watch the videos. Share with mentors and the fatherless in your field of se

rvice. Subscribe to the YouTube channel SAVF FAMNET to be notified of additional videos.


Meet the experts:

Before listening to what they have to say, meet each one of the participants by clicking on the links below.


Meet Meshack Kekana
Meet Jaco van Schalkwyk
Meet Erna Rheeder;
Meet Elmo Pienaar
Meet Disa Mogashana
Meet Charley Pietersen *
Meet Cawood Kelbrick


*Please refer to this web-address, as the one on the video itself is incomplete.


The role of the helping professional.


  1. Understand the South African father-absence situation and the effects it has on the person living with Father-Pain, resulting in a suffering society. Click on the link below.
Erna Rheeder Why addressing father absence?


  1. Guide the person living with Father-Pain. The effects of father absence are primarily emotional resulting in undesirable behaviour. Follow the links below to guide the individual in dealing with emotions, making constructive decisions and preparing him or her to enable future father involvement. Watch these videos and share them with individuals who will benefit from it.


The feelings resulting from father absence

Elmo Pienaar


Dealing with the feelings resulting from father absence.
Disa Mogashana Contacting my father only brings rejection. What can I do?
Disa Mogashana A 3-step technique dealing with anger and hurt towards your father.

How to fill the void left by your father:

Disa Mogashana How to fill the void your absent father left.
Elmo Pienaar Getting your absent father’s attention and dealing with the emptiness left by him.
Elmo Pienaar Filling the Father Absence Emptiness
Charley Pietersen Find your own identity away from your absent father

Who is my father?

Meshack Kekana I want to know who my father is.
Charley Pietersen When I want to know who my father is…

Becoming the father you never had

Charley Pietersen Become the greatest dad – even if you did not have one
Jaco van Schalkwyk How to become an involved Dad
Meshack Kekana Tools for Fatherhood
Cawood Kelbrick The most important fatherhood skill



  1. Find and guide a Mentor for the person living with Father-Pain

Mentor-ship is a powerful way to lay the foundation for the individual’s restoration. It implies a constant relationship in which important skills and values are transferred. Both boys and girls need father figures. The professional might have to help searching and training men as mentors in the community. Consider the uncles and grandfathers, pastors, sport and music coaches and support them with this information to make a profound difference in the the lives of young people without fathers.


Listen to what our experts have said about mentor-ship by clicking on the links below:

Who could be a mentor?

Meshack Kekana Anyone can be a mentor
Jaco van Schalkwyk Mentorship when far away

Why is mentorship important?

Jaco van Schalkwyk Reasons and Opportunities for mentorship
Cawood Kelbrick Create a foundation for children through mentorship
Jaco van Schalkwyk Mentorship makes a difference: Success stories

How to be a mentor

Cawood Kelbrick Love and presence – crucial in mentor-ship
Jaco van Schalkwyk 5 core values in mentorship
Jaco van Schalkwyk Be a father figure for your children’s friends

“Character Company,” “Grooming Boys,” “Father a Nation,” “Heartlines,” “The world needs a father,” “Ambassadors Football” and “Dads in the Picture” are experienced mentor-ship leaders.


  1. Guide the mother

    …in understanding the importance for the child of knowing who his or her father is. As a professional you also have a role to play to help taking away the mystery. Click on the links below to find out more.

Disa Mogashana Mother: What your child needs most
Meshack Kekana Mother: A child needs to know his or her father most of all
Meshack Kekana The role of the professional when a child wants to know who his or her father is.


  1. Involve life coaches, counselors, therapists and other helpers

These people play a huge role in the restoration process. Elmo Pienaar gives information about where to find the above mentioned helpers and if people in your community would like to receive training as counselors, life coaches, etc., such information can be found in this video as well:

Elmo Pienaar Where to find a counsellor or be trained in counselling


In case of financial constraints, consider involving local companies to provide such professionals or funds to pay private professionals.


The list will still be expanded. Yet, this is already an excellent resource to contribute to the restoration process not only of the fatherless, but also to our family life and society as a whole. Use it, share it and by doing so we all become the change we want to see!


On behalf of the Fathers’ Network Team

Erna Rheeder

SAVF Famnet Coordinator

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