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18 August 2020

Let’s face it, Dads are awesome. These dads are Super Dads because they are playing and engaging with their children, no matter the situation.

But in some parts of the world, it’s not so easy for dads to buy toys and games for their little ones. Even 15 minutes of one-on-one play together offers so many opportunities for children to engage with their environment and learn skills that will last a lifetime.

This Father's Day, help these dads be there for their children as they play and learn with ethical charity gifts for education & play.


Xiomara, 3, and her father, David play together at a UNICEF-supported Early Childhood Development center in Paraguay. David knows the important role parents play in a child’s development. "In my family we didn’t have traditional provider and caregiver roles. Dad would always take me to school. Even if the sky was tearing itself apart with rains, I would go to school. That’s partially how I learned to be a responsible father.”

Research suggests that when children positively interact with their fathers, they have improved psychological health, self-esteem, and life-satisfaction in the long-term. A few simple items like exercise books and soccer balls can help facilitate the kind of play that builds a child's brain.

A three-year-old girl happily points at her dad who is playing with her in a play centre.© UNICEF/UN0312255/Sokol

This Father’s Days help support dads and children to play and learn together by purchasing ethical charity gifts for education & play.


Mohammad turned one in the Azraq refugee camp, Jordan, his father Shaheen has watched with fascination at how fast his son is growing and the amazing ways his brain has developed in twelve months.

“Every time I see him he has grown more! Little by little, he has started walking, laughing and playing with me,” said the proud Dad. “When I play with him, he laughs. When I call him, he comes to me. That is the best moment.”

One-year-old Mohammad smiles to the camera as he is held in his father's arms in a refugee camp in Jordan.
Shaheen knows the importance of play for his son’s development. “When a father plays with his child, then the child gets to know their father and learns from him. We must play with them.
© UNICEF/UN0302564/Herwig

Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nera and her father Haris are finding ways to keep the fun and learning going as the country went into lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuck inside, both Nera and Harris are looking forward to the day when they will be able to run to the park, play hide and seek and dance on the grass.

Nera's dad lifts her up as they play and laugh together in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
While in lockdown in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nera’s dad has been finding ways to cheers her up.
© UNICEF/UNI320514/Calkic

South Africa

Bongani holds his son, Khuma, 8 months, in South Africa. When asked what it’s like to have a new baby, he answers “Being with your new baby, it’s both mentally and emotionally inspiring," Bongani says. “We don’t sleep like before! Honestly though, we are lucky. Both of us are working and we share responsibilities. It’s not easy, but we are able to make the time.”

Eight-month-old Khuma squeals with delight as his father, Bongani, picks him up in South Africa.
“I’m so happy — happy and proud. Sometimes when I walk to the mall to go shopping I just think of the funny things he does, like the noises and I just laugh right there in the street. He makes happiness in the house, even if we can’t sleep!” Khuma's father, Bongani says.
© UNICEF/UN0315695/Sokol


As schools closed throughout India, millions of children were limited to home-schooling. To keep the learning going even through the COVID-19 pandemic, Som, 6, started studying at home with help from his father Abhishing.

Six-year-old Som sits in his father's lap as they read together.
As millions of people in India went into lockdown, parents like Abhishing had to find new ways to keep their children learning.
© UNICEF/UNI342630/Panjwani

In the early moments of life, play is crucial to the development of a child’s brain.

This Father's Day, help dads and their children play and learn together. Our ethical charity gifts for education & play provide vital supplies to help send children on a lifelong journey of learning and fun.


Donatel, 1, smiling after receiving her vitamin A drops during the COVID-19 lockdown in Uganda. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and limited transportation, her father Herbert  made the two-hour journey to bring his daughter to a health facility for her routine immunisation. “I brought my daughter for immunisation because I don’t want her to fall sick. I am responsible for her health. I know that immunisation will strengthen her immune system which will help her fight other diseases” Herbert shared.

One-year-old Donatel smiles in her father's arms at a health centre in Uganda.
In Uganda, immunizations services are still available at health facilities and mothers, fathers, and caregivers are enduring long distances to reach the health facilities to have their children vaccinated.
© UNICEF/UNI325804/Abdu


“We are doing everything we can to make sure Liya has a happy childhood,” says Daniyar.

Daniyar and his daughter Liya, 2, live in Kazakhstan. Daniyar tries to spend every spare moment with Liya, he describes himself as an “involved dad”.

Daniyar kisses his two-year-old daughter Liya's hand while his wife sits to his left in Kazakhstan.
Daniyar and his wife are always learning how to be good parents. “We are doing everything we can to make sure Liya has a happy childhood,” says Daniyar.
© UNICEF/UNI289192/Mussirov

Sierra Leone

“One of my best and most exciting moments is when I am with Joan. She is my first love. I think I am a super dad because of her.” Says John.

John and his daughter Joan, 9, spend a lot of quality time together. According to John, they have a great bond as he does a lot of things for his daughter including braiding her hair, bathing her and feeding her. Even though John and his daughter Joan do not live in the same city, he is dedicated to seeing her, travelling over the weekend just to be with Joan.

John Terry plays with a phone with his daughter, Joan, in Sierra Leone.
John Terry with his daughter Joan at home in Sierra Leone.
© UNICEF/UN067469/Phelps


Through lockdown the Ghana Education Service in collaboration with partners have implemented a Distance Learning Program through the internet, television and radio. Deborah, 10, is working through the program with assistance from her father, Franklyn. 

Ten-year-old Deborah reads learning materials with her father in Ghana.
UNICEF in Ghana has been supporting Distance Learning programmes through the internet, television and radio to ensure that children, like Deborah, continue learning as they stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
© UNICEF/UNI342048/

Inspired? Even from here in Australia, you can do your bit! 

This Father’s Day, instead of a hardware voucher, get dad an ethical Father’s Day gift that keeps on giving. Together, we can give every dad the powers they need to become a Super Dad in their child’s eyes.

Here’s how it works

  1. Purchase a gift online from our Inspired Gifts shop to help send children on a lifelong journey of learning and fun.
  2. We’ll send a personalised card to your Dad telling him about the life-saving impact he’s making.
  3. Real tangible items will be dispatched from a UNICEF warehouse by car, boat or foot to wherever they're most needed.

There's no better way to show your dad how much you appreciate everything he's done to keep you happy, safe and protected.