Boys to be empowered at awareness week

Activities to mark ‘Boys Awareness Week’ in primary schools of the Western District continue this week.

Last week, several primary schools held activities including rallies, special assemblies and motivational speeches.

Other highlights included Crazy Tie Day, Hair Cut Day, Young Chef’s Day, Reading with Fathers and Movie Night.

Education Officer for the Western District, Margaret Jules-Royer, says other primary schools will also hold special events in their schools this week aimed at empowering boys and helping them develop self-esteem and positive attitudes.

“We always hear of boy’s underachievement. We hear that boys are marginalized that they are misunderstood. So as a district we wanted to focus on our boys. Let them believe that they can achieve. Let them believe that they can grow up to be real men,” Royer said.

Boy’s Awareness Week was held under the theme “Believe we can Achieve,” and is part of the calendar of activities of the Western District every school year.

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4 Comments

  1. Sylvester Royer
    November 27, 2012

    The plight of boys in society generally and in our community particularly continues to be a matter of concern. More boys are victims of violence, candidates for incarceration, school dropouts, victims of unemployment, and addicts to drugs in disproportionate numbers to their female counterparts. Based on such predisposition they are seen as the representation of evil.

    The question is this: are they doomed by the very nature of things, that they should be deprived of the good in life and still be demonized for not having it? While in some cases it may be their own doing; it is also true that some of the ills of the world today have permeated the psyche and created a habitat for the demons that are at play there. One example of such a monster is the television.

    In implementing an intervention plan to address these issues, there is a need for the collective efforts of parents, friends, good leadership and the positive response of the boys themselves. The latter is the most difficult because the victim usually does not acknowledge the problem. I recommend the following actions:

    (1) Parents, especially fathers are to provide guidance and support. Something as simple as making their presence felt, giving advice, sharing an experience, identifying a pitfall, paying a compliment and giving support whether it be material, emotional or financial.
    (2) Mothers are to give love and nurturing (a hug, a word of comfort). Remember that this young man is the same one that meant so much to you as a child.
    (3) The girls should reciprocate the respect that they themselves seek. They are to affiliate and keep wholesome conversations instead of the same old tired refrain of ”how much I love you”. Actions speak louder than words.

    Our leaders are to adhere to the Commandments of Leadership. Here are some of the measures recommended:

    (1) Enlist the boys in a common vision by appealing to their values, interests and dreams.
    (2) Foster collaboration by promoting cooperative goals and building trust.
    (3)Strengthen them by sharing information and increase their discretion and visibility.
    (4)Set an example for them by acting in ways that are consistent with your own stated values.
    (5) Recognize individual contributions to the success of every project.

    The aforementioned may also be a challenge for the leadership itself. As humans, we have our own idiosyncrasies. We may therefore be helping ourselves understand our own shortcomings in the process. As elders of the society, we need to have the impulse to become more productive and to do things more ‘worthwhile’ in our lives and work that is more fulfilling and creative so as to leave a trail of examples for the upcoming generation.

    The boys themselves are to rise to the occasion by responding positively to the outreach. They should give respect, seek knowledge and seek understanding; for it is well said that what you don’t know can kill you.

    In essence, the theme of such a plan is “each one reach one and each one teach one”. I started a book club with my inner circle of friends. Books would be introduced so that we all read and then we get together to discuss it in small groups or one-on-one on the phone. Presently, the book of choice is called Universal Sense. Those who have access to the internet may download a copy for free from the website, Universalsense.com. It is very illuminating.

    We need to form a critical mass that would ultimately draw those on the outside on board. It is almost like the process of osmosis whereby a less dense liquid is being absorbed by a stronger liquid through a membrane. This misdirected male energy can be transformed.

  2. clemon george
    November 27, 2012

    one more comment…
    We cannot empower anyone. We can only provide them with the tools to see options (choices) and to act upon them. It is only by knowing that there are choices and choosing those options then can ’empowerment’ occur.

  3. clemon george
    November 27, 2012

    There should be more activities island-wide focusing on ‘boy’ empowerment. Boys (and men) should be socialized to contribute towards creating an equitable society. Unfortunately, since the early 70’s, the socialization of boys in Dominica has been one of appropriating Western theorization of masculinity – that is creating better servants rather than engendering autonomous responsible human beings working towards social justice for all. The root of anger and violence in men, are often centred on the lack of options – that is, no alternative way of being, of expressing themselves, of preserving some form of power is see seen by these men. As a result, they often resort to using their fists. We often forget that the advantages that European (and American) men enjoyed were never offered to Black men. Yet, they have never been given the chance of knowing who they are.
    Clemon –

  4. Education
    November 27, 2012

    Great job Mrs. Royer!

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