October 21, 2007

The Cost of Fatherlessness & Heroes

Brother Mustafa F. Mahdi is one of my Man-Making heroes. He is the founder and spiritual glue at The Rising Son, Inc. Young Men's Development Center, in Jonesboro, Georgia. The center's mission is to "reduce fatherless families by providing programs and activities designed to prepare young men for the challenges of manhood and responsible fatherhood."

In an world where the most common response to young males seems to be putting them in prison, Mustafa and his co-workers provide and amazing array of services through the Rising Son. After school and Saturday academic mentoring, summer day camps for boys, a Faithful Fathers mentoring program, and the Pathways to Manhood Rite of Passage program . . . just for starters.

As their website points out, "...our program provides Mentors to guide young men successfully on their "Journey to Manhood". Teaching our sons to be men before they become husbands and husbands before they become fathers, will break the devastating cycle of fatherless families."
"To be a man, you have to see a man"
To measure the challenge that this very good man and his allies are facing, check out the statistics just below, taken from their website. Because of the faith, courage, and relentlessness shown by Brother Mustafa and the good people at Rising Son, they are all my heroes and role models for all of us.


85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control)

90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)

71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)

75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God's Children.)

63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)

80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978)

70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)

85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)

The statistics above show that children from fatherless families are:

* 5 times more likely to commit suicide.

* 32 times more likely to run away.

* 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.

* 14 times more likely to commit rape.

* 9 times more likely to drop out of high school.

* 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.

* 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution.

* 20 times more likely to end up in prison.

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