Bridges impact lives and livelihoods and provide safe access and connection for families. Though the celebration varies from country to country, we as global community honor fatherhood year-round. In celebrating fathers this month, we decided to reach out to some of the amazing B2P fathers to get their perspectives on fatherhood and how it inspires the work they do.
My sons ask me, “Are you building a bridge? When are you going to finish it? It looks so nice.” They ask me, “What are you building the bridge for?” I explain to them that it is for the people that need to cross the river. It grants them safe access and we build for the community.
I always feel happy to be a dad, to be responsible for my family, to watch my kids grow, [and] to see how they express themselves. The joy it gives me is the happiness I feel as a father.
Being a father, it brings you to another happiness that you’ve never had in life. When I go home every evening, my daughter is waiting for me. When I arrive, she wants to hug me and check my bag to see what I brought for her…It makes it really fun for the family when there’s a child in the house. There’s a difference. It’s so beautiful and enjoyable.
Bridges are important because they are a connection. They connect people. They connect people to infrastructure. They connect people to health aid, economic, and school facilities.
I mentioned two people [to you earlier]. One was a child of eight, she was crossing from her home to school. So from the presence of a bridge, that child could cross the river all the time without anyone accompanying her. The second [a blind person who can now safely cross a river without holding a person’s hand thanks to the walking cable of the B2P bridge], we can actually help not only the young people, but also the vulnerable people, who cannot actually take themselves across the river…From the strong people to those more at risk, the bridges serve all ranges and ages. All people.
My son already has a passion for bridges and possibly engineering. Hopefully, he’ll follow my lead.. [Or] perhaps he may be interested in some other type of engineering, mathematics, or physics. That’s all I can hope…I like it when he hugs me. I like to spend time with him and teach him. For example, I taught him how to brush his teeth. I like to be a dad.
Fatherhood is great! Especially with my first child, Carlos Fabian, it’s pretty incredible. Even though we are apart at times, we are close in our hearts.
When experiencing a bridge inauguration as a father, I know the joy of the kids as well as the parents. They will have safe access and I can imagine the significance…When you’re a father, your priority is the well-being of your family and children. When you have the benefit of something like a bridge in the event of a flood, for example, and know that your family will cross safely, it’s an emotional experience. As a father, it is exciting to witness how safe access can benefit the life of a community.
When we arrive at a new bridge site, the kids from the community come and ask questions. “What are you doing? Where’d you come from?” Those are the questions. I love kids and enjoy talking to them. So I explain by asking them questions. How do they cross the river? Where do they come from? How do they cross during the rainy season? They tell me that they suffer a lot. Sometimes they miss classes for weeks or months.
I teach them about the bridge by drawing in their notebooks. I show them how we are going to build the bridge, but they don’t understand what a bridge is.
“You’ll see,” I tell them, “In two or three months or less, you will have a bridge that will help you get to the other side.” And they get it!
I love to build bridges. Completing a build is a beautiful experience. It changes the life of the people – especially for the youth and the development of the community.
It’s a blessing to have children. The best part is being around to see them grow up. I didn’t want my children to be like me and not finish school. My daughters achieved their goals. I am proud of them.
When my daughter sees a picture of the kind of bridges we build, she recognizes it and says, “This is the bridge that my father builds”…As a father, my thinking changed a lot because I have to think about my daughter and my family. So everything I do, everything I teach, even also to my family, I have to think about them in order to make sure that I am directing my daughter in the right way through education and to provide her with a good future.
A father is like a bridge for the family, for the baby, for the kids, because the way you prepare them to grow up is how they grow up. If you don’t provide for them, just like if there is no safe bridge for someone to cross, they cannot cross and will fall in the water. So for the kids to go to school by passing across the river, you have to provide safe access. So it is the same for the father, he has to think ahead in order to prepare a safe way so that kids can pass.