The Christ Church South Constituency has launched a development programme aimed at helping young boys and men in the area to reach their full potential.
MP Ralph Thorne launched the ‘Men Achieving Power’ (MAP) at his constituency office last evening. MAP targets boys and men aged 16 to 40.
“A lot of us here are over the age of 40 and we will be breaching our responsibility to the younger generation if we do not recapture some of what we experienced and enjoyed in our teens and in our 20s. It is very, very rare in Barbados for young people to spontaneously come into contact with each other and do wholesome things together.
He also added that politicians have made “serious mistakes” in the areas of social and human development, and young men are among the casualties.
“When I was 16, 17 years old it was almost natural to join a club and to remain a member of that club… young people in Barbados, with the advance of technology, everybody has their phone and all of these video games, and we have become a very self-centred society. We don’t do things together any longer and the casualties of that are our young men in particular.”
Coordinator of MAP, Enric McConnolly, told the gathering that the programme is seeking to make a difference as many men in society feel marginalised and disadvantaged.
“We need you because you are the catalysts for change. Those of you seated here this evening, you represent the catalyst for change,” he said.
He also urged the men in the community they need to take their responsibility as parents seriously.
“There is a quotation that says it is easier to build boys than to repair men. But who are going to build the boys? Now I’m not a male chauvinist but we cannot leave the building of the boys to the women. We cannot abscond our responsibility and say ‘well after all she’s the mother’. We have a responsibility that we are required to do all that we possibly can to build the boys.
McConnolly added that according to global population trends there will be implications for boys and young men in the next decade, as children under 15 now make up a quarter of the world’s population.
“In 2019, the world population now stands at 7.6 billion. In 10 years’ time, the projection is that it will be 8.6 billion. Nine per cent of the global population right now is under five. That has serious implications for the future for men, for parenting, for the responsibilities that we have. Young people between 10 and 24 represent a population of 1.8 billion people. Children under 15 make up 26 per cent of the world population.”
Last evening also saw the launch of a homework programme that will offer assistance to primary and secondary students in the constituency.
Homework Coordinator Tyrone Bynoe, who has been teaching for 20 years, said it will be a mix of formal and informal tuition.
“When I was training as a teacher one of the things I learnt is that there are different types of intelligences. But sadly our culture focuses on one type i.e. academic and this is to the detriment of some of our children.
“The focus on academic makes those who are not strong in that area feel useless when in fact they’re not.”
The programme seeks to expose children to all of the options available to them, and will allow them to interact with individuals in various professions.
“If they can meet others who have the same talents and skill sets that they do who have been successful, this will inspire and motivate them to build healthy self-esteem and confidence,” Bynoe said. (MCW)