Zachary Ochuodho @zachuodho
A church association in collaboration with Britam holdings Plc has launched an initiative aimed at uplifting the boy child amidst statistics that show that boys aged between nine and 17 had watched porn and experimented with drugs.
Speaking during the launch of the initiative between the Catholic Men Association and Britam at Caritas, Don Bosco, Upper Hill, Britam Group managing director Benson Wairegi said a lot of focus had been given to the girl child at the expense of the boy.
He said the society may have forgotten that boys are just as vulnerable as girls. The initiative dubbed ‘Beacon Boys Project’ aims to reach 50 parishes of the Catholic Church and will target boys aged between nine and 17 initially in 20 schools within the Nairobi Archdiocese before it is rolled out countrywide.
Dominic George, a counselling psychologist attached to the Nairobi Catholic Archdiocese shocked participants when he revealed the findings of a survey conducted amongst initiates aged between nine and 17 years at the institution earlier in the year.
“Out of the 141 boys who had been enrolled in the programme, 121 had watched porn, while 92 had attempted drugs. Our survey also showed the strong positive influence the presence of a father figure has on the lives of children.
Seven out of 10 juvenile prisoners were either fatherless or had poor relationship with their fathers,” said George adding that such children were four times more likely to be poor compared to those from stable homes.
The programme has already been rolled out with the theme “transforming the boy child into a responsible man” through a range of initiatives, including inter-generational mentorship and transfer of valuable skills by champions who have been selected to offer guidance.
The Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Nairobi David Kamau said the initiative would also develop an alcohol and drug abuse intervention programme in response to the problems that boys face.
He urged corporate entities to join and help make the project a success. Britam is the key sponsor of the initiative whose proceeds will support the project through mentorship, modeling and rehabilitation of boys aged between nine and 17 years.