CariMAN Dominica Chapter President Thomas Holmes, is calling for a male desk in Dominica where men and boys can go for moral and emotional support.
The organisation said its is concerned with the level of sexual, physical and emotional abuse and violence being committed by and among males and the violence meted out to boys and men and there is nowhere they can go to express themselves comfortably.
“Most men and boys will not feel comfortable approaching the office of the Bureau of Gender Affairs or the Dominica National Council of Women for moral and emotional support,” he said. “They need the physical presence of male officers or male counselors who will listen to their plight,” Holmes said on Monday.
It is on this basis that Holmes thinks that a male desk is necessary in Dominica. “CariMan requests and will continue to impress on the relevant authorities to provide a male desk where men and boys can come freely to discuss with their peers about the many social issues that impact their lives and impede their total development,” he stated.
He noted that the organisation is in need of financial and technical assistance since it struggles to facilitate gender-based programs in schools and communities.
“We appeal to corporate citizens out there to support us. We are very much aware of other organisations out there. However, we need to create a safe environment for our boys at school, in communities, in the homes and we have to keep our males away from prison. We need financial support for our programs,” Holmes stated.
He also identified the need for committed males to be true advocates for gender equality and human rights and facilitate the process to reduce and prevent all forms of violence, particularly violence against women and children and violence by, and among, young males.
Meanwhile, a youth arm of CariMan is one programme which the organisation intends to implement in the future. The programme will include in and out of school young males who can be role models for their younger peers in promoting peace, harmony, positive partnership to end violence.
The organization will also seek financial and technical sponsorship to implement a Prison Project to engage young male offenders in addressing the reduction and prevention of gender based violence.
This project will engage young males at the prisons in theoretical and practical methods while in prison.
CariMan is presently observing a week of activities in Dominica. Among them are presentations to secondary school students during general school assembly, a panel discussion, a prize giving ceremony for winners of a poetry contest and a special Father’s Day event where five fathers will be recognized for being positive role models to their children.