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May 11, 2021

Are you interested in learning more about Fathers in Focus? Connect with us using the form below!

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    Privacy Policy

    May 11, 2021

    (Update: May 11, 2021) This website ( serves as an information portal for research participants and community partners ONLY. Site administrators and research team members do not collect data using this site with the only exception of when using the CONTACT FORM, in which your name, e-mail and anything you wish to include will be forwarded to the research team directly involved in the Fathers in Focus project and will only be used solely for the purpose of communication. None of this information will be shared to any third-party organization, advertiser, or individuals.

    That being said, the site administrators and research coordinators cannot guarantee that your browser, internet service provider, or WordPress are not collecting any data from your use of this website.

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    Meet the team the put together Fathers in Focus! Throughout the your participation in this project, you will be interacting with the members of the team. If you wish to reach out to a coordinator or a researcher, please use this form.


    Rita Dhungel

    Rita with Nepali heritage is an assistant professor with the School of Social Work at MacEwan University. Rita meaningfully engages with communities in uncovering socio-political contexts and its impacts on their lives through community -based studies teaching and practices. By using photovoice as a transformative tool, Rita has made significant contributions to promote personal and social transformation both in local and international contexts.

    Dr. Aamir Jamal, PhD

    Aamir is an Associate Professor of International Social Development and Social Policy and Director of Global Engagement and International Partnerships at the University of Calgary. He is a leader in the spheres of gender justice, prevention of domestic violence, girls’ education and women’s rights in the global south. He is most recognized for his book “The Gatekeepers: Engaging Pashtun men for gender justice and girl’s education in Pakistan”.  Dr. Jamal has created a strong foundation of a new dialogue on “Men as Allies in Gender Justice” in the Pashtun region of Pakistan and has made significant contributions in shifting local attitudes and cultural perspectives in addressing gender-based violence. Dr. Jamal is one of the main researchers of this study.

    Liza Lorenzetti

    Liza is a community activist and an educator/researcher with the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary in in Mokhinistsis (Calgary).  She has been involved in social justice human rights movements for over three decades.

    Research Coordinating Team

    Nellie Alcaraz
    Lead Research Coordinator

    Nellie came to Canada as a live-in caregiver under the federal TFW program. She is an appointed member of the Anti-racism Action Committe by the City of Calgary. She was awarded the Clarice Chodak Social Action and Justice Award by the University of Calgary (2019) and the ACSW’s John Hutton Memorial Award (2021). As an active organizer with Migrante Alberta and Alberta Assembly of Social Workers, Nellie is a staunch migrant’s rights and women’s rights advocate. Nellie is the coordinator of this study. Nellie monitors and coordinates all activities related to this study including the recruitment and meaningful engagement of the participants.

    Nwel Saturay
    Photovoice & Lead Artist

    Nwel is a photographer and a migrant’s rights activist from the Philippines.  He uses photography as an active tool for community organizing. As lead artist for Fathers in Focus, Nwel will be creating tools (like this website!) and providing collective or individual guidance on effective storytelling through images.

    Claudia Ewing-Maine
    Practicum Student

    Claudia a white settler on Treaty 7 land and she calls Mohkinstsis (Calgary) her home. She is a 4th year Social Work Student at the University of Calgary completing her final practicum with Migrante Alberta. She is passionate about and excited for the community engagement and storytelling through art that the Fathers in Focus project is all about. She will be looking forward to hearing all the unique experiences of fatherhood that come out of this study and will be here for any assistance participants may need along the way.

    Badrinath Karki
    Practicum Student

    Badri Karki (he/ him) came from Nepal to Canada in 2013. He is a father of two beautiful daughters and has a lot of insightful stories to offer regarding Canadian and Nepalese cultures. Badri is a Registered Social Worker and a community activist. He is currently doing his practicum placement with Migrante Alberta as part of his requirements towards an MSW degree with Wilfried Laurier University (Ontario). Badri will be primarily involved in assisting the research team in data collection.

    Community Partners

    The University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work
    The University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work is the largest faculty of social work in Canada, consistently ranked among the top 15 schools in research across North America. The Faculty of Social Work is involved in the training of future social workers as well as active participation in programs that helps individuals, families, groups, and communities to improve their individual and collective well-being; much like this one.

    Alberta Men’s Network
    The Alberta Men’s Network (AMN) was formed out of the collaborative, community-based research of the Alberta Men’s Survey (AMS). The AMS was created by over 70 men and women and over 18 organizations committed to enhancing men’s roles in violence prevention. AMN has produced numerous research briefs and actionable toolkits to help support service providers looking to organize and engage men for personal and social change regarding these focus areas. The Father’s in Focus Research project is another opportunity for the Alberta Men’s Network to provide positive change among men and the people in their community.

    Alberta Network of Immigrant Women
    Since 1986 the Alberta Network of Immigrant Women has connected and empowered immigrant women across the province, leading and supporting initiatives that foster equality, justice, and learning. The Network has shared its innovative research on issues that impact the integration of immigrant women and their families within our society, and has worked effectively with other partners and stakeholders to bring our recommendations to reality. The ANIW values collaborative partnerships like the Fathers in Focus project because fostering equality and justice for immigrant women requires an inclusive community effort and it is a shared responsibility.

    We and the World Centre
    We and the World Centre, a non-profit organization, runs programs and services for families including seniors, adults, youth, and children through various initiatives in individual and community levels. It explores and promotes both inherent and emerging realms of intercultural learning, heritage education, and everyday wellness. Along with the practice of yoga and meditation for inner well-being, the Centre works on literary work, art, and music.

    Islamic Centre of North America (ICNA)
    Established on September 1, 1968, ICNA’s aim is to adhere to Islamic values amongst a religious diverse community. Similar to the goal of the Fathers in Focus project, which is to strengthen healthy masculinities and family relationships, one of ICNA’s goals is to oppose immorality and oppression in all forms and support efforts for socio-economic justice and civil liberties in the society.

    MacEwan University
    The MacEwan University was established in 2009 as a public undergraduate university located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Their Faculty of Social Work provides training to future social workers and help them become active participants in programs that help individuals, families, groups, and communities to improve their individual and collective well-being; much like this project.

    Calgary Pakhtun Association (CPA)
    Calgary Pakhtun Association (CPA) is a community-based agency governing under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. CPA will provide assistance in the recruitment of participants for this study. 

    Migrante Alberta
    Migrante Alberta was founded in August 2013 in Edmonton. Migrante is a non-profit advocacy and self-help organization. In Alberta, the agency addresses the immediate issues facing migrants and our compatriots. The agency servs through referrals, advocate, and campaign on migrants’ issues. In 2019, Migrante Alberta has implemented a similar project called “Kwento’t Litrato” (Stories and Photographs) that employed a photovoice method about the Filipino community’s story of migration.

    Central Alberta Refugee Effort
    The Central Alberta Refugee Effort was formed in 1979 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to assist with the settlement of Indo-Chinese refugees fleeing the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The mission of this agency is to assist in the settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees in the community. CARE will provide assistance in the recruitment of participants for this study. 

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    Portraying an experience, a person, or a community using images can be extremely powerful. We previously talked about the power of images and the way stories can inform, change or influence perspectives, or with that very same power, mislead and cause harm to a person or a community.

    When photographing your story, please keep the following things in mind so that we can do our best to avoid unintentionally causing harm to ourselves and community members.

    When Shooting
    • Be respectful: When photographing other people or their property, be courteous and ask for permission before doing so. Respect their decision should they decline to be photographed. Portray your subjects as accurately as possible, afforded with utmost respect and dignity.
    • Do not trespass into private property and follow laws, rules, and regulations in public areas such as parks and streets.
    • Secure written consent from your subjects or anyone who can be identified in your photographs. These consent forms will be distributed by the research coordinators. You may need to secure written consent from parents or legal guardians should your photos include minors.
    • Be mindful of identifiable details within your frame, or details that you or people you photographed may not want included. Other than a face, a person can be identified through photographs of their clothing, private property, and identification cards, among others. Before submitting photos to this research, it is highly advisable to check with your subjects if there is anything in the frame that they may not want revealed.
    • Staging scenes can be okay at times. Many family portraits are posed and staged. However, do not claim that a scene is “candid” when it is not.
    Editing, Captioning and Presenting
    • Submit only photos that you took: Claiming someone else’s work as yours, or failing to give proper credit to another photographer’s work is very likely to be in violation of local or national copyright laws.
    • When editing, avoid adding or removing elements in the photograph. This practice is considered unethical in many disciplines of documentary photography. Cropping to improve the composition of a photograph is largely okay, but always evaluate context changes when doing so. (Read: Photo cropping mistake leads to AP soul-searching on race)
    • When writing your narrative or caption, be conscious that you are writing from YOUR perspective. Do not assume someone else’s thoughts, feelings or opinion on a subject as fact, unless it is explicitly stated by that person. For example, avoid writing “Maria thinks that I should help out with the household chores more” if this is an assumption on your part.

    If you are unsure what is okay and not okay, please do not hesitate to discuss with the research coordinators and your fellow co-researchers.

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    Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most of the meetings and interactions between co-researchers will need to be done through an online platform. We have chosen to use Zoom for this purpose. Here is a checklist of the things you will need to be able to participate:

    • A stable internet connection
    • Smartphone, or tablet, or a computer with webcam
    • Headset (earphones/headphones) with microphone
    • Zoom app

    Click here to go to the Zoom app download page.
    You will need to choose which kind of device you will be using the app on.

    Here are a few things to keep in mind before and when joining a meeting:

    • The meeting will be recorded for internal use of researchers and co-researchers. This means the recording will NOT be shared to third party organizations or individuals. If you have concerns regarding this, or wish to pause the recording at any point during the meeting, do not hesitate to notify one of the coordinators.
    • To get the best possible audio clarity for you and your co-participants, it’s advisable to use a pair of earphones/headphones with an integrated microphone.
    • If possible, secure a quiet room.
    • If you opt to use video/webcam, be mindful of details in your background that you may not want shared. Advise people that you live that they may be seen or heard in the background. It will be seen by your co-researchers and participants.
    • When not speaking, kindly mute your microphone.
    • There will be between 15-20 participants in each meeting. To ensure smooth exchange of thoughts and ideas, we encourage you to use the “raise hand” function if you wish to speak. This is how you do it.

    If you have not used the Zoom app before, we encourage you to get to know by trying it out with family or friends before the actual focus group meetings. Please get in touch with the coordinators if you encounter any issues or is unable to install the app.

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    What Are Focus Groups?

    April 24, 2021

    In research, a focus group is a technique that involves a group of selected people getting together to discuss a given topic. Through these interactions, researchers (and participants) can explore and learn about themes, patterns and attitudes toward the topic. Fathers in Focus will hold three focus group meetings. Here is what to expect from these sessions:

    Session 1: Orientation
    Date: May 18, 2021 | 5:00PM MDT

    As a participant, you will:

    a. Meet the research team and your co-participants, and be able to introduce yourselves through a short storytelling exercise

    b. Get an introduction on Fathers in Focus

    c. This is your venue to ask any questions that you may have about the study

    Session 2: Facilitated Sharing
    Date: TBA

    This will be a venue for the presentation of stories AND photos. You need to come to this meeting prepared with your pictures and stories. You will get a chance to see the photos and hear the stories of other fathers who are also participating in this project. A facilitator(s) will ensure that there is a respectful and continuous flow of discussion. You will also get a chance to see the photos and hear the stories of some members of the research team. You will be invited to provide your feedback about the stories and pictures of your co-participants. Be ready to hear their feedback about yours as well.

    Focus Group 3: Collective Story
    Date: TBA

    If you would like to change any of the pictures that you’ve presented in the last focus group, you may do so at this meeting. You may also change your mind and provide a different perspective or story about your photos. The research team will provide the initial analysis of the pictures and stories gathered in the last focus group. You will be invited to provide feedback about the research team’s analysis. You will also provide your thoughts about what you saw and hear during the last focus group and how it might improve/enhance your fatherhood role. You will be asked about the impact of the research process by answering the following questions:

    a. How was your experience of creating the photos and stories?

    b. How did you feel upon seeing and hearing your story and other stories presented?

    c. What impacts has your participation had on your role as a father?

    d. How can we use these stories to involve other men in positive fatherhood roles?

    Your participation in the research process is deemed completed at this point. However, if you would like to become a volunteer or continue to be an active member of your community, you may choose to participate in the community exhibition and other future events. You may express your interest to a member of the research team who will let you know of the next planned activities that you could join.

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    Before the second focus group meeting, you will be asked to send your photos and stories in advance so that the facilitators can display it on the screen as you tell the story behind them in an online environment. The best practice is to send the highest quality available.

    At any point, please avoid transferring photos using social media apps such as Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Viber, etc. Using these apps to transfer images will give you a compressed file, meaning the size and quality of your photographs has been reduced significantly. The best practice is to connect your phone directly to a computer with a USB cable and retrieve the image directly from your phone.

    If connecting to a computer using a cable is not possible, there are also other ways of sending images wirelessly such as using e-mail or cloud services like Google Drive. Please feel free to reach out to any of the research team members for assistance if you are unsure how to proceed.

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    Less is more, but not always.

    Choosing a photo or a series of three photos that represent a story that you want to tell can be one of the most challenging steps in this project. In most cases, you may benefit from having a large pool of photos to choose from but you may also get overwhelmed if you have too much.

    Making Your Final Selection

    A good starting point is to cut your pool in about half at a time. Let’s say you have collected 30 photos that you feel answer one of the research question. You may proceed to cut it down to a selection of 15. Reduce that number to seven, and then four, three, two or even a single image.

    Here are two simple questions that you can ask yourself when cutting down your selection:

    • Does this photo truly represent the story I want to tell?
    • Does this photo provide an important context to one or all the photos in a series?

    You may also be tempted to choose a photograph that you are particularly proud of because you like the light, or hit the perfect composition of your subject. However, if that photo do not support the story that you want to convey, consider excluding it from your selection.


    Editing your photos in not mandatory, but minor edits using computer software such as Photoshop (paid) or GIMP (free) can certainly improve and help in conveying a message. This can involve cropping – or cutting certain elements out your frame, or turning your photos from color into black and white.

    It’s generally advisable to limit your editing to a minimum. In most cases here, less is indeed more.


    Adding descriptive text to a photo can give your viewers the right context when interpreting what they are seeing. If you pick up a newspaper or visit an online news site, you will often notice that there are one or two sentences that accompany the photos that are published. While there are certain rules and guidelines that must be strictly followed when writing captions in journalism, in Fathers in Focus, you only need to write whatever you feel best describes or adds context to your pictures.

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    We have all had that feeling of capturing a photograph and feeling that it did not truly represent what we saw or experienced at that time. This is because the way we experience the world extends beyond that single frame. We cannot capture the smell of the grass, the sound of laughter, the way the air felt on our skin or the warmth of the sun on our face. But there are ways to convey these experiences through images.

    It will be an impossible task to make a complete manual for that in this project. Besides, there is no single right way to do something in photography (and many other things too!) especially considering the fact that each of us will be telling a different story, through different lenses.

    Ultimately, it will be up to your individual research and interaction with co-researchers and coordinators, along with constant practice that will help the most in effective storytelling.

    Case by case basis

    Photographer and Fathers in Focus Lead Artist Nwel Saturay will be available throughout the project to assist and guide in specific cases should you get stuck or simply need someone to bounce ideas with. Feel free to get in touch!

    Choosing the right tools

    A popular saying within the photography community holds true for Fathers in Focus: the best camera is the camera that you have with you. In this article we will cover a few tips that might help you start photographing and developing your story.


    Regardless of the camera that you choose to use, these are general guidelines that you might find helpful in effectively telling your story. For beginners, it is a good advice to photograph your subjects in multiple angles or composition.

    • Light – Observe how light interacts with your subject. In photography, light has the biggest influence in how your subjects look. Our eyes are naturally attracted to the brightest points of a scene. Generally speaking, one of the most common and readily techniques to to help viewers focus on a specific detail in a photograph is to put it in the brightest light.
    • Framing – Often, what is not in the picture is just as important as what is in the picture. Be mindful not only of the objects and details that are in your frame, but also what are not.
    • Composition – Shooting from different angles can also dramatically change the look and even the message you want to show. For example, shooting a subject from a low angle can evoke a sense of power. There are many articles out there that can aid you in effective storytelling through composition.
    Shooting with your phone

    Camera phones certainly have their limitations, but they do come with the unmatched advantage of being the most readily available camera that we have in any given moment. While dedicated and larger cameras such as DSLRs and mirrorless cameras might offer the best image quality, they are not necessarily the best tools for every occasion.

    For those using smartphones in this project, here are some tips that will help you overcome some of the limitations that it presents.

    • Light, light, light. Even the most modern phones struggle with capturing quality images in darker environments. Try to take pictures where there is sufficient light hitting your subject.
    • If you must take pictures in situations with insufficient light, try your best to keep your camera as steady as possible. In low-light situations, your phone will automatically slow its shutter speed down, therefore unwanted movements will be visible in your image.
    • Exposure Compensation. Smartphones automatically adjust the exposure depending on the scene to what it thinks is best and neutral. However, especially in scenes with high contrast (or huge difference between the dark and the bright parts of a scene), your phone might try to do the opposite of what you want (think of silhouettes). Since every phone out there is slightly different, you may need to search the internet on how to use Exposure Compensation in your specific device.
    • Zoom in with your feet. When taking pictures of close ups, move in closer to your subject instead using your phone to “zoom in.” While some smartphones now use multiple lenses to aid in quality when zooming in, most still relies on doing this artificially, which simply crops the picture and enlarges the pixels to fit the frame.
    • When transferring or sharing images, especially if you intend to print them, you want to use the highest quality available. As a general rule, using messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp or Viber must be avoided as these apps will resize and reduce the size of your images. Learn about the optimal and best practice to send your photos here.
    Privacy and Ethical Responsibilities

    In Storytelling & Photography, we talked about the role and power of our stories and images. This power can encourage positive change, but may also cause harm, even if we do not intend it. Please take time to read this article and learn how we can minimize, if not completely avoid unintended harm that we may cause.

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    Let’s talk a little bit more about Photovoice and why it is a unique method in conducting research. In this video, Fathers in Focus co-researcher Rita Dhungel talks about her experiences in facilitating Photovoice projects in the past (9 minutes).

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