The plight of the boy child must be attended to wholeheartedly as various challenges, from societal to the home, are working against any efforts to see better changes among young men.
This was some of the discussions that took place when The New loveLife Trust (loveLife), hosted members of the media in Rosebank, Johannesburg yesterday.
The organisation, which has been around since 1999, has in recent times embarked on programmes aimed at getting more young men to see their female peers as equals, and further, to include boys even in programmes traditionally meant for girls only, such as menstruation education, which can help them learn and understand such topics.
“Government is one of our key funders, but due to COVID-19 and how it needed to urgently respond to its demands, funding was cut. We have embarked to raise funds from other stakeholders, whom we continue to work as they align their budgeted programmes and accommodate us as we seek help for our boy child programmes,” said Dr Linda Ncube-Nkomo, chief executive officer of loveLife.
Ncube-Nkomo said as loveLife they cannot be the sole driver of such a programme, with most of such demanding the availability of funds so that they can be started, and successfully implemented.
South Africa ranks high when it comes to violence against women, as gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) often dominates the headlines. With the country’s triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, domestic violence is also cited as one of the rising concerns, where young boys grow in households and societies that perpetuate women as lesser human beings to men.
Ncube-Nkomo said as an organisation they are clear that GBVF has no place in South Africa’s society. “Hence we must keep on working on assisting our young men that patriarchy, misogyny, misguided masculinity and violence against women should come to an end.”
Doreen Kosi, chairperson of the loveLife board, said: “Our strategy position is clear that we cannot continue to prioritise only young girls and ignore the boy child. Parents have their hands full on raising children, but we also need men across our societies to chip in and assist where possible, as upstanding members of their societies.
Kosi further said young people are the nub of what gets South Africa going, hence the work loveLife does is critical in the next decades to come, as more young people between the ages of 10 to 24, would continue to call for assistance, and raise their hands when it comes to participation across critical programmes.