Girls Empowerment Movement (GEM) has organised a boy child empowerment and mentorship session dubbed Anyamata Ticheze which will take place tomorrow at Lilongwe Botanic Garden.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency on Wednesday in Lilongwe, GEM chief executive officer Yamiko Chimunthu Kawale lamented that boys are viewed as perpetrators of vices yet in most cases, they may be victims.
“Boys lack safe spaces where they can interact and have the opportunities to talk about their issues. So, this is a platform where they will be able to open up and discuss matters that affect them as they grow,” she said.
Kawale said the session will be a vehicle for boys’ transformation to responsible citizens in the society and will equip them to make right, independent and matured decisions.
She said: “Considering the rise in mental health and suicide cases, we have organised a team of experts in youth development from various organisations. Among others, these experts include Blessings Banda a public health expert, Kondwani Kanjelo, an expert on sexual reproductive health and rights as well as John Biston Kawale, a youth advocate,
“So this is an opportunity where they will have time to interact with health experts on the field to help them build a bond with their parents at home.”
Kawale urged parents and guardians to interact with their young boys frequently to learn and understand what they go through in their daily lives.
According to a post that GEM has placed on social media, the event will address issues of hygiene and puberty, mental health, sexual abuse and harassment, career development, HIV and Aids and effects of drugs and substance abuse.
Plan International country representative Phoebe Kasoga encouraged organisations to incorporate the boy child as they focus on girl child empowerment.
“If we see the boy child marginalised, we should do something to help out because if we focus only on girls, we will be empowering one side and later create inequality at some level which may affect us in the future,” she said.
Anyamata Ticheze is a youth mentorship programme sponsored by GEM that target boys from 11 to 15 years.