Nothing is more special than the magical moment of watching your child delivered into the world.
However, when Tony's first child was born in Vanuatu, he found himself a world apart, living and working in Australia to support his family.
It was a difficult decision, yet one driven by his desire to give his family the chance for a better life.
When his wife, Benemwa, fell pregnant for a second time, luck was on Tony's side and he was fortunate to return home, eagerly awaiting the arrival of their twin daughters, Faith and Grace.
But during their birth, unexpected complications arose, forcing Benemwa to undergo an emergency caesarean for the second baby. This crucial moment both terrified and encouraged Tony to step up when his family needed him the most.
"As a father, I have never experienced the life mothers go through," says Tony. "Since Benemwa went through surgery and couldn't walk, she has to stay in bed. It's up to me to do the things my wife would normally do."
"Fathers have to take responsibility too and do the work mothers do."
A special bond between father and child
Discover Tony's journey into fatherhood and how a little practice called 'kangaroo care' helped him support his newborn twins when they needed him the most.
With Benemwa recovering from her surgery, Tony seized the opportunity to learn essential skills in caring for his newborns, with the support of medical professionals at the hospital in Vanuatu.
"They taught me how to feed my two babies, how to carry them on my chest," says Tony. "UNICEF encouraged me to practice kangaroo care with my twins."
Kangaroo care is a natural, effective, and low-cost intervention that can be utilised in any setting. A simple and nurturing process, kangaroo care sees a parent holding their baby against their bare chest, creating direct skin-to-skin contact. In places like Vanuatu, it can be the difference between life and death for premature babies.
"It's a whole new experience for me," says Tony. "Thank you to everyone who taught me how to do these things, all the doctors and nurses."
Learning how to do kangaroo care was a game-changing experience for Tony, bringing him closer to his children.
"I feel wonderful with my two babies on my chest, it feels good. It's been really great to see my baby so happy that I'm holding her."
Today, Tony is confident in his new skills as a father, determined to learn do all he can to protect and care for his little ones. His biggest hope for his children is that they all live an easy and good life, a future that he promises to work towards for them.
Show your dad how much you care with a UNICEF Inspired Gift
The greatest gift any father can give their children is the chance for a better future. This Father's Day, show your dad how much they mean to you by sending him an Inspired Gift, a gift with double the impact.
Here’s how it works:
1. Purchase an ethical charity gift from our Inspired Gifts store to give a child the best chance to survive childhood and grow up healthy.
2. A personalised card will be sent to your dad telling him about the life-saving impact he’s making.
3. Life-saving supplies will be dispatched from a UNICEF warehouse to wherever they're most needed.
There's no better way to say thanks for everything your dad did to give you the best start in life. Buy an Inspired Gift instantly to make Dad's day and forever change the lives of vulnerable children.Send a Gift today
Stay up-to-date on UNICEF's work in Australia and around the world
18 Jan 2024
Stories of hope: five incredible things UNICEF delivered for children in 2023
UNICEF is there for every child, before, during and after emergencies – no matter what.
1 Aug 2023
Why breastfeeding mums deserve our support
Breastfeeding is free, it doesn’t discriminate, it’s safe, it’s supported and backed by a global legal framework. Here’s why women should be supported to breastfeed, and how UNICEF is rising to the global challenge of helping women combine work and child-rearing.
13 June 2023
One doctor's mission to make twice the impact
UNICEF supporter Doctor Rob Baume is calling on other doctors to join him to support children well beyond their clinics.
30 May 2023
5 questions with our Ambassador Erica Packer
UNICEF Australia Early Years Ambassador Erica Packer tells us all about her experiences being a mum and what being a Global Parent means to her.
28 May 2023
In photos: A special visit to Borroloola with Pat Cummins
Test cricket captain and UNICEF Australia Ambassador Pat Cummins heads to the outback to meet some incredible kids through the Indi Kindi program in the Northern Territory.
2 May 2023
Edwina Bartholomew and UNICEF talk maternal health challenges in Papua New Guinea
Sunrise host and Ambassador for UNICEF Australia, Edwina Bartholomew, speaks with UNICEF about pregnancy and birth for new mums in Papua New Guinea.
26 Apr 2023
"Developing young minds for the future"
Renowned actor and UNICEF Australia Ambassador Callan McAuliffe travelled to rural Laos to visit our early childhood education programs.
21 Apr 2023
In photos: how vaccines reach the most remote places on earth
UNICEF believes no child should die of a preventable disease. That’s why we provide vaccines for 45% of the world’s young children.
19 Apr 2023
From donations to delivery: the journey of a vaccine
Over the years, vaccines have played a crucial role in improving the health of children by eradicating diseases such as smallpox and significantly reducing the occurrence of others like polio. But there is still much to be done. UNICEF remains steadfast in ensuring that every child has access to the vaccines they require to maintain good health.
5 Apr 2023
Cholera: from symptoms to solutions
A snapshot of UNIEF’s response to the growing cholera endemic.
31 Oct 2022
Saving children from malnutrition in Sudan
Learn how UNICEF is creating sustainable solutions to the malnutrition crisis.