Fathers’ groups in Gothenburg break patterns and forge connections

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y Lotta Engelbrektson
Many of the men who attend Fathers and their Children do in Gothenburg, Sweden grew up in cultures with traditional gender roles, whereby fathers did not play an active role in childrearing. Activities run by the groups in the neighbourhoods of Angered, Biskopsgården and Frölunda aim to break away from this pattern.
It’s Ramadan and the spring light lingers in the long evenings. When the fathers meet at the Svarte Mosse nature area in Biskopsgården, it is ten hours since they last ate or drank. Despite their gnawing hunger, the football match on the playground is already in full swing.
“Many guys that I know complain that they have poor relationships with their fathers,” says activity leader Mohammed El Nabolsi. “This is a group that is making a change.”
The Fathers and their Children project began in 2019 after Gothenburg’s City Mission allocated money from the Swedish Inheritance Fund. The initiative came about thanks to psychologist Per Åslund, who has worked with fathers’ groups for much of his professional life.

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