Upcoming event information
What: Community outreach dinner for fatherless girls and young women
When: 6:30 p.m. May 8
Where: Fair Street Neighborhood Center; 715 Fair St., Gainesville
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-534-5750
You can’t exactly replace the role a father plays in a young woman’s life.
“What a daughter needs from a father, nobody else can give,” said Deborah Squire-Farngalo with Restoration for Liberia.
Farngalo and her husband, Gregory, hosted National Save Our Sons Night at Fair Street in April. At 6:30 p.m. May 8, the and Restoration for Liberia will host Save Our Daughters Night, a similar community outreach dinner for fatherless young women in the community.
“We’re going to be doing a similar thing, but this is actually going to be so different, too,” she said. “After last time, I realized that an uncle can be a father figure and a boy can really look at him as a father. But a daughter is different.
“That uncle cannot just sit that little girl on his lap and hug her, kiss her and hold her like the daddy should be doing. So we really had to think outside the box in that area.”
Farngalo said she can relate to girls who do not know their fathers, because she grew up without hers.
“I grew up with a stepfather who was so good to me,” she said. “But he was not able to hug me and kiss me like a daddy would do.”
For Save Our Sons Night, the Farngalos invited young men and their fathers or father figures to attend the community outreach dinner. But only girls and young women are asked to attend Save our Daughters Night.
“It’s a different approach we have to take,” she said. “We’re going to have so many girls there who don’t have fathers, and we can’t just say, OK, here’s someone to come in and step in the gap.’ It doesn’t work that way.”
Instead, the event will focus on rebuilding young women’s self-esteem and increasing their awareness of the men in their lives.
Farngalo said these young women may not realize they have a void, but they are certainly trying to fill it.
“That void cannot be filled with different men,” she said. “What we’re seeing is young girls, because they had no daddy, trying to fill that void through dating men, one man after another. They need to embrace the fact that, ‘OK, I didn’t get that.’”
Farngalo said it’s heartbreaking to see young women become pregnant as a result of this trend. She said she hopes young women at Save Our Daughters Night will find healing.
“We want them to know you’ve got to forgive your father and ask God to heal you,” she said. “Ask God to be your father, and move on.”