The Boy Child in Kenya has become a subject of discussion for not so good reasons. It has been expressed that while much attention has been given to the girl child, the opposite can be said of the boy child who is believed to be neglected, thereby leading to all sorts of social ills.
In August 2016 when the nation suffered from extremism through burning of schools, a Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Executive Secretary Sammy Borr said the menace that saw dozens of schools razed could be stopped if the boy child was guided and empowered. He said over 80 percent of the schools affected were boys’ schools “Boys are seeking attention by resorting to such activism,” said Borr.
This is a wanting situation and it calls for urgent and purposeful action from all and especially more from men. On the other hand, Leaders in Central Kenya have attributed the sharp increase in drug and alcohol abuse amongst the youths to the neglect of the boy child.
As one Dr. Wahome Ngare, of Don Bosco Church, aptly put it during the AGM of the Archdiocese Catholic Men Association, Social Development Programme, “What we have today is broken masculinity! Leaders without formation. We also have Christians who don’t practice their faith and Africans who don’t practice their culture” . One captivating revelation by Dr. Wahome is that there are more men in prisons than women! What is more, 80 - 90% of the children in prison, both boys and girls, had a problem with their daddy. Either he was absent, abusive or passive. Boys need to be mentored by men to understand authority and how to control their masculinity. Masculinity is raw power; it is like fire. When it is a servant it is very good, when it is the master, it is very destructive.
It is in view of this that Caritas Nairobi wull launch a boy child program, The Beacon Boys Project which, seeks to rescue the boy child by inculcating social values through mentorship and coaching of the young ones. The target of the Beacon boy child program will be the PMC (age 9-13) and MYM (age 14-17). It is expected that every Parish will have a Beacon Boy child Program but those in-charge will be the CMA members for easy management of the program. Each CMA in the Parish will have a man in charge of the boy child program to coordinate the activities and link with the Caritas Office.
Caritas Nairobi will identify and engage facilitators for the boy child programme. The office will also ensure that activities organized take place. Communication between the Parish Program and Caritas Office will be channeled through the CMA leadership in the Parish.
The Gender & Youth Development Programme, the coordinating office for this project, hopes to see a lot of participation from the men who are the sole custodians of this process. We believe that God being on our side, this noble process will bring much to honour Him through the CMA motto; Good Family, Good Church, Good Society!
“A committed and responsible boy child in the society supported by an empowered man capable and willing to take his roles in the society”
Overall, The Beacon Boy Child Program through a range of initiatives, is aimed to:
- Instill a sense of responsibility in mentorship of the boy child by the men
- Instill moral and ethical values to reach boys in all 13 Deaneries in the Archdiocese of Nairobi
- Reduce the level of Boy-child school dropout rate
- Create a seamless transition from PMC, youth and finally to CMA
- Develop an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Intervention Programme
- Expand collaborations with other stakeholders in empowering the boy child