Reclaiming Our Boys Project launches to save lives
Far too many of our young men and boys are dying and far too many families are crying, declared Minister of Social Services and Community Development Melanie Griffin as she launched the Reclaiming Our Boys Project – an initiative which was called for under the National Strategic Plan To Address Gender-Based Violence.
“This project will put in place measures to address the high levels of violence by reclaiming the young men and boys that have fallen prey to violence, discouraging a future life of violence for boys, and promoting healthy forms of conflict resolution for them”, she said.
The Reclaiming Our Boys Project was launched with a special three-day workshop designed to address the high levels of violence in the country, which are mainly effected by Bahamian young males ages 18 to 25 as both victim and perpetrator.
The workshop, “Let’s Take Back Our Boys” was hosted by the Department of Gender and Family Affairs along with United Nations Women (UN Women) Senior Programme Specialist Gabrielle Henderson; Tyrone Buckmire, workshop consultant; and Dr. Robin Roberts, National Task Force To End Gender Based Violence.
Participants included doctors, psychiatrists, teachers, counsellors, and youth leaders who spent three days receiving training specifically in dealing with youth, which the United Nations deems as ages 16 to 30. They also shared experiences and were given insight on how to truly impact the lives of those in this most vulnerable group and save them from killing or harming one another.
Representatives of various ministries of government also participated, helping to give a broad view on how the Reclaiming Our Boys Project will serve Bahamian males effectively.
“Recognizing that strong, inclusive and equitable nations are created when women and girls, and men and boys partner equally to address the social challenges facing societies, we stand firmly behind the ideas undergirding this project,” said Griffin.
Workshop sessions held at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture included: “The New Planet – Enhancing Understandings of Human Rights”; “Dealing with Resistance to New Learning”; “Gender Analysis: Building Knowledge and Skills”; and “Youth as Co-creators – Strategies for Working With Young People”. Sessions began on February 15, 2017. The launch of the Reclaiming Our Boys Project is a fulfilment of one of the mandates of the National Development Plan, which was approved in February 2016.