The National and County governments have been urged to complement efforts by non-governmental organizations to uplift the welfare of men and boys.
According to Pastor Alice Theuri, the founder of Orphan Reach Network, a non-governmental organization that supports orphans and rehabilitates street children in Nyeri County, the many years of affirmative action in favor of girls has resulted in unbalanced youth with girls benefiting but boys being left behind.
While acknowledging the critical role that men play in society, Pastor Theuri is now calling on both levels of government to collectively work to bridge this societal imbalance by supporting causes that ensure that both boys and girls are accorded equal opportunities.
“We want to call upon the National and County governments to assist in the empowerment of the boy child. We should love the boy child because it is our responsibility as a county to come out and support these children,” she said.
She was speaking during the launch of a boys’ empowerment forum in Nyeri town on Saturday where eight teenage boys from needy backgrounds were selected to join the programme. The beneficiaries will receive counseling and life skills mentorship sessions during school holidays. They were also issued with school fees cheques to cater for the 2024 term one school fees with the organization pledging to further support them by catering for their first term shopping money.
“We want to walk with the boy child and if we can, we want to pull even one boy to change the life of our community,” she said.
One of the beneficiaries, David Ndung’u could not hide his joy after joining the programme. Ndung’u, who is an orphan, told KNA that through the program he was now assured of finding a mentor in addition to getting financial support to help him complete his secondary school education.
“I am very grateful because my family was not in a position to support me to complete my education. I am also happy because I have found a new family and when I become successful I will join the organization and give back to society,” he said.
By Wangari Mwangi