Dieudonne A. Allo
About Allo, Founder of APEA
A father of three, I was motivated by my own lived experiences as an African raised in very harsh parenting circumstances and observing the debilitating effects of such parenting on our physical, social, economic and political environment. During my years of working with children in rural parts of South Africa and Cameroon as a school teacher and youth animator, I observed the acquisition of many antisocial norms in the passage from childhood to adulthood in Africa. This experience and my studies for a degree in Community and Health Psychology at the University of South Africa further guided me to the understanding that parenting can either build or destroy society.
I developed the view that the lack of parenting skills in African parents, together with some social and cultural norms that encourage abuse and violence form the breeding ground for aggressive behaviour, verbal abuse, selfishness, poor leadership skills, abuse of power, nepotism, discrimination and other injustices that are characteristic of Africa today. I was then convinced that any lasting change in the destiny of Africa would only be achieved by transforming humanity. The starting point of this transformation would be transforming parenthood in Africa. Sharing ideas on the impact of parenting with parents, teachers, psychologists, church leaders and other professionals in South Africa, Cameroon and Senegal inspired me to start a project for parenting education. Together with some friends we wanted to start a project to empower parents with parenting skills. I started researching more about parenting education and its impact on society.
My encounter with Teresa Graham Brett was what shaped and made my dream of transformative parenthood in Africa more realistic. After reading her book “Parenting for Social Change” I was greatly touched by her perspective of creating a base of love, wholeness, authenticity, and integrity that is the foundation for just and empowering relationships. Her view that the ways our society treats children sets the foundation for all other forms of injustice was very much in line with my view of the origins of many antisocial norms in Africa. I contacted her, and asked her to be my mentor, and she gladly accepted. I have learned so much from her on parenting education.
Teresa and I have common views on changing society through parenting. These views let to the establishment of “Alliance for Parenting Education in Africa” (APEA), of which we are co-founders. It has been an exciting and transformative experience working with Teresa and our convictions and dedication will surely usher a new era in parenthood in Africa. Other members of the Board of APEA include Dr. Nathalie Kangami (University of Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar – Sénégal), Mrs Nompumelelo Thabede (author of “Take off and fly in business”), Mr Dvine Yenkong (lecturer at African Leadership Academy in South Africa), Ms Mcubuse M.P (psychology student at the WSU), Mrs Nomaqumba Bulelwa, (Early Childhood practitioner) and Mr Wornyo Chris (teacher). This team is dedicated to changing the destiny of Africa through parenting.