By Esther Onyegbula
With the increasing rates of young boys engaging in cultism, bullying and molestation, child advocates have called parents, guardians and caregivers to properly groom and provide mentors for the boy child.
The call was made at the just concluded Boy Child conference organised by the Boy Child Development Initiative titled ‘’True masculinity the way God sees it’’ held in Alausa, Lagos state.
Speaking at the event which had over two hundred boys in attendance, Air Commodore AJ Bolajoko said that we can’t under play the place of mentorship in raising responsible boys. Parents and guardians must help their kids and wards harness their talents, interest in making right career decisions.
The society has a huge role to play in the development of the boy child because everything that they become today is at a result of societal stereotypes”.
“One of the reasons while there is an increase in domestic violence is because the boy child has been ignored. The average boy child is not raised to be tolerant, or to have compassion towards the people around them. Most of them grow up doing what they like. The society has a huge role to play in mentoring the boy child”.
Commending the organisers of the project, First Officer Ayotunde Ilesanmi a pilot with Dana Air said that while growing up I never had this kind of opportunity. For a really long time that is why more attention has given to the girl child. This conference will help young boys speak up and also get guidance and also get solutions of issues that bothering them. Conferences like this create awareness and help build their confidence and self esteem.
These young participants have learned that they can be whoever they want to be. They have seen successful career people talk about how they were able to succeed in their chosen field, how they also went through failures, through struggles and still succeeded”.
According to Modupe Adara Co-Founder – The Boy Child Development Initiative, over the years the focus has been on the girl child, the developing them to fit in the society. Unfortunately there is almost nothing for the boy child. Programmes like this are good, especially for the boy child. In order to raise and groom them properly they need to have mentors that will positively influence their future”
“Part of the reason why young boys engage in vices is because they have been neglected. We have not been paying attention to mentoring to ensuring that boys develop and grow in good ways, challenges of the gaps are what we are seeing now.
When they grow up, the society expects them to act in a certain way. Unfortunately we didn’t empower them to be able to fit into the prescribed roles because people don’t just assume roles they need to be empowered. Empowerment in terms of training, enhancing certain skills, stop certain habits, these are part of the challenges the average boy child faces.”
The highlight of the event was the launch of the book True masculinity written by Modupe Adara