Ball dropped

MESA in for stinging rebuke

Barbados’ main advocacy group for men has been given a failing grade for its representation of fathers who have been denied access to their children.

The stinging indictment has come from founder of Access for Fathers, Kammie Holder, who said today he was forced to step up and take the lead on the issue because the Men’s Education Support Association (MESA) had simply dropped the ball.

“MESA is an organization which has a problem with men calling bad mothers ‘dead beat’ but has no problem with women calling men the same thing. MESA has lost their mandate and it has left me no choice but to start my own [group] to represent men who are going through this issue,” said Holder, who went public on social media last weekend with details of his own bitter child custody battle and has since stepped up a public campaign on Facebook to raise public awareness of the issues confronting men.

When contacted for comment today on Holder’s charges, the Chairman of MESA Grantley Osbourne said he preferred to issue his response at a later date.

However, MESA is on record as having voiced strong objection to the harsh treatment it says is usually meted out to men when they go to court to deal with paying child support, compared to the women who refuse to let men see the same children they’re providing money for.

Back in 2015, MESA went as far as calling for mandatory DNA testing at childbirth in an effort to protect men from paying child support for children that were not theirs.

However, while suggesting that MESA is all bark and no bite, Holder also contended that after years of promising to challenge the legal system, the problem remains largely unchecked with frustration mounting among men who continue to be denied access to their children.

“I am meeting too many men in this country who do not have access to their children,” said Holder, who is also public relations manager of the Future Center Trust, adding that “maintenance is an obligation of any parent and the parent’s access to a child is a right.

“This is not just about but our society because dysfunction impacts on our crime statistics. How many children have to jump over partitions in order to get to see their parent? Since we have started this programme on Facebook we have had a 100,000 page views and everyday I am getting no less than five requests for discussion because the issue has been allowed to fester in this country. Something needs to be done to correct the imbalance,” he said.

“We have been writing UNICEF, we are also going to be writing the United Human Rights Association, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General. This is not a problem that is unique to Barbados. From my own experience, cases are adjourned too far in the future. In my case, the plaintiff’s attorney said she had to go and collect her child and for that my case has been pushed back until March next year. In the meantime, my daughter will not see me for Christmas, she will not spend my mother’s 75th birthday with her and this is not fair to me nor my daughter,” he lamented.

10 Responses to Ball dropped

  1. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan November 9, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    In a lot of these cases neither the men or women want to admit that they chose poorly. And at the end of it all that is all it chose the wrong person to procreate with. Stop looking at MESA and NOW to fix what you broke..then to hear nonsense like Deadbeat Dad and Deadbeat Mum being thrown around..utter ignorance..I speak from experience because I too could have made a better choice but never once have I ever used that term Deadbeat..why?…because I have too much respect for the gift that God gave to mothers and fathers need to get a grip!
    Reality check when the smell of the baby powder has worn of the child is still there! Before you jump bones without birth control seriously ask yourself if you are ready

  2. Kevin Branch November 10, 2017 at 6:32 am

    I agree with Mr Holder …MESA is all bark and no bite ..even the their president “will comment at a later date..” SMH

  3. Jennifer November 10, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Sorry fathers/men, our ancestors threw away their staff for a hug and a pat on the head – “good boy”, so all these troubles have encompassed you. And all them associations you writing too has been the predicators of the said wickedness to pull down black communities world wide by not allowing men into their children’s lives. And sadly these women cannot see any of it. So write to them – not that it will make a difference seeing that their plans are working perfect.

  4. harry turnover November 10, 2017 at 7:12 am

    So Kammie Holder SHOW ME WHAT YOU HAVE DONE since you are accusing MESA of DROPPING the ball.
    Show me since MESA dropped the ball that you were INSTRUMENTAL in getting those women WHO IGNORE COURTS ORDERS hauled before the Courts,relinquish custody of the child,ordered to to pay maintenance , JAILED for not paying and payments backdated when they come out
    How can you say that MESA has dropped the ball when you have not even bowled at anyone…big man you is a mout giant ..plain and simple.

    • Jennifer November 10, 2017 at 7:25 am

      And this is how our communities are so F3%$ed up, because the “head” have been displaced from the body. And if the men are around they are not being allowed to play their true leadership roles, with role reversal strategies in place. I tell you they are all in it together, education, church, and justice.

  5. Carl November 10, 2017 at 7:41 am

    The system has always favoured women and will continue to do so until those in position to make a difference, pull the wool from over their eyes and judge each case on its own merit and stop with the old saying that nothing can replace a mother’s love. Mothers encourage children in so much folly. The system beats fathers who don’t step up and fulfill their role but does nothing to mothers who don’t. Mothers who prostitute their daughters in the name of financial survival; mothers who tolerate and encourage their sons in crime. It is unjust to treat a father who aims to play his part, in such a manner. In the same way that the child is the one who suffers when the father fails to pay support, the child also loses when he/she is denied a relationship with his/her father because of the mother uses the archaic, one sided system to her unfair advantage. The relationship between the parents has ended but the child still deserves both parents. It has already been proven that children who benefit from a relationship with both parents are more likely to become productive citizens, yet when children, boys in particular, are denied the opportunity to bond with their fathers and they fail to become model citizens their plight is blamed on not having a father in their lives. Then there are the daughters who have to run away from home to avoid sexually abusive stepfathers. These stories are sometimes not even revealed until the victim is an adult and reflects painfully on the past experiences. The system MUST stop unfairing men. This too wil reduce instances of violence against women as men sometimes respond violently to the female subject of his mstreatment by the system as they reach breaking point, knowing that they have been treated unjustly by the system. They can’t drag the magistrate off the bench and exact revenge so the woman pays. Treat the men fairly. Judge each case on its own merit.

  6. Greengiant November 10, 2017 at 7:53 am

    MESA too like most organisations is saddled with an executive that’s out of tune with the needs of men today. Yes they’ve done well, they’ve fought for some issues, but legislatively they’ve failed.

    We need the brightest young men to challenge the issues confronting today’s men head on. Men have many issues today, from the junior boys, teenage boys, adolescent males, young adult males, mid age men, and the elderly. We need a study on the issues facing men at these different stages, so as to have them addressed properly and effectively. Otherwise we will be left behind by the more organized, and robust females.

  7. Jennifer November 10, 2017 at 8:11 am

    What we as a people need to do is to OPEN our EYES and look deeper into all of this black mess. This type of family misfit does not effect Asia, Indian, mongols, the so called Africans in Africa or even Caucasian in this manner. So why is this people in this mess with women at the helm and some of our men faltering from their roles and responsibilities/duties to their children and home etc?????? with top agencies egging it on.

  8. Sue Donym November 10, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Mr Kammie Holder, MESA and whoever feel the need to plead a case for men will do waht they think is needed. Women, whether in advocacy groups, as frustrated women or as mothers with their own stories will have their say and a role in the debate. What is clear is that many of us have lost the art of being civil. We do not have the conversations and stick to the issues that will move us forward with many of the problems.

    There is a maze of factors that slow our progress: from the slow court movement, to improper record keeping and in some cases, yes a bias in favour of mothers (steeped in the assumption that most mothers have the welfare of the child as a priority). But people that feel wronged – whether by a former partner or by the court can be expected to act irrationally.

    It appears that what is needed is a corps of persons, call them social workers, family support officers or whatever, persons trained and dedicated to resolving these cases on their own merits in an efficient manner. These cases are definitely not for cookie cutter justice, as the assessments must be as individual as the the children. Indeed, some need to be swiftly adjudicated and some people could benefit from a cooling off period. In the right circumstances, reasonable people can come up with their own workable solutions, to be rubber stamped by the court. Sadly, some situations might leave all parties feeling ‘unfaired’.

    We need to equip ourselves to treat our children as though they really are most important to us. We should though, never forget that there are times when the best decision is to distance the child from one or other parent, even if only for a time. Sometimes the potential for disruption and conflict are too great to do otherwise. Much to think about

  9. luther thorne November 10, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    MESA is a good thing. Join up and make it better


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