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NGO launches boys club against gender-based violence in 81 schools

A non-governmental organisation, Boys Quarters Africa in partnership with Connected Development has unveilied a boy-focused club with the aim of mobilising boys and men in ending all forms of violence against women and girls.

This was launched at the third edition of International Boy-Child summit which was held by the organizations and sponsored by Voice Global, with theme as “Redefining Masculinity 3.0 — Raising Boys, Reshaping Men and Transforming the Society” in Lagos.

The summit had in attendance dignitaries including Fela Bank-Olemoh, the Special Assistant to the President on Education Intervention; Mrs. Debola Deji-Kurunmi, Hamzat Lawal, Founder of Connected Development; Ayodele Kenneth, Board Member Boys Quarter Africa; and a host of others.

The Executive Director of Boys Quarters Africa, Solomon Ayodele in his remarks spoke on the gaint strides recorded by Boys Quarters Africa over the years.

Solomon emphasised how the organisation is championing the boy-child initiative to entrench the right values in the boys and ultimately ensure a better society.

He further highlighted how the annual summit has birthed partnerships with some states Gender Affairs units including Lagos and Enugu.

He said: “We’ve been able to engage 10,517 boys, we are mobilising 1000 boys and men through Project SABI, with the focus of reaching men in the informal sector and also setting up gender-based violence desk in Parks”.

Dr. Ruby Onwudiwe, Executive Director, Technology & Operations 9PSB emphasized that boys need good role model and as such — Boys Quarters Africa is in the business of bursting myths.

Ruby who declared the summit opened said: “What we are doing today is to draw awareness on some of these issues, and to reorient our mind to raise men of good character. This year’s boy’s summit is focused on redefining men, and transforming the society. We are looking for change agents and raising boys who are emotionally balanced”

“We need change agents who will break the cycle of domestic violence, agression and change the rhetoric of what a real man should be.”

Male students from schools including Immaculate Heart Senior and Junior; Mendes Senior High School and Junior; Community High School Alapere; Oregun Junior and Senior; Ajegunle High School; Kosofe Senior High School; Ikeja Junior and Senior High School; Ogba Junior Grammer school were in attendance.
The Summit also had viewing centers across the Federal Capital Territory ABUJA, Enugu State, Ebonyi State, Ogun State, Bornu State, Ondo State and Adamawa State. These centres had a cumulative number of over 3,000 Boys, who watched the Lagos Event.

The guest speaker Fela Bank-Olemoh, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Education Interventions, in his speech spoke on the many things young boys were facing including drug abuse, social media, peeer pressure, weak family institutions.

He advised them on the need for them to make decisions which will affect their lives positively. Some of the things needed in one’s journey in life include: Strong figures, take responsibility, do not compare yourself with others.

Also, the panelists at the summit also spoke on the issues surrounding the Boy-Child, and how to reshape their mindset towards transforming the society.

Mr. AbdulAzeez from Voice — Oxfam In Nigeria in his goodwill message said boys are going through a lot of problem and need protection.

“Especially in the north, boys are kidnapped and they are made to join fight. They (boys) need to be educated. This summit is a step to help people become advocates in their own spaces, and also to change the narrative on how boys see themselves.” He stated.

Part of the highlights of the summit, was launching of Africa’s First Boys Club against Gender-Based Violence and a manual for Boys, with a 24-Week learning track for the boys.

 

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