How Grumeti Fund empowers girls through boys

How Grumeti Fund empowers girls through boys

WHAT does it mean to be together? It is more than strength in numbers but putting yourself in the shoes of another person.

With this at heart, last Saturday of 25th June, Grumeti Fund conducted a girls’ empowerment session through boys’  at Chamriho Secondary school in Bunda.

The session that involved over 735 boys from three secondary schools (Hunyari, Paul Tudor Jones and Chamriho) from Bunda District was aimed at enlightening the boys on their role in empowering their sisters in all spheres of life, especially with the realisation again that for a complete society, all regardless of sex and gender must be onboard.

Shedding light on that Grumeti Fund Community Outreach Programme Manager Ms Frida Mollel cited the analogy of a journey of a thousand miles that must begin with a single step towards endeavour.

Kick starting the session, she applauded the boys for their incredible participation, saying: “What a big day seeing boys ready to stand with their sisters! It is fascinating when educated boys, future fathers, and leaders like you know your role in the community, especially fighting against bad gender-related cultural practices.”

Gender issues such as access to education, the right to speak and be heard, and decision-making were some of the noted big challenges in the communities, which require addressed.

In her analysis, she pointed out that girls are not given equal chances to education, and they do not have a seat at the table, when it comes to making decision, be it at the family up the hierarchy in the society-this results into forced marriages, early pregnancies, and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

A close analysis, automatically would lead to a conclusion that these problems and other social norms have endured through generations, and the best way forward is to make boys stand together with the girl child.

Bunda District Secondary Schools Education Officer Mr.Wandere Rwakatale, who was the guest of honor shared the same school of thought after the boys graced the occasion with their wonderful songs’ performance on how to integrate girls in their society developments.

Equally, the session included a talent show where boys performed songs that emphasized academic issues and the benefits for standing together with the girl child.

He said: “I will be honest and will hit the bull in the eye. We all came from one brave person-that is a woman. Nobody here, no man anywhere has ever experienced labor pain or is willing to undergo Cesarean delivery. We owe women respect and love.”

In his maiden speech, Mr. Rwakatale thanked Grumeti Fund for the initiative which enables boys to live and stand together with the girl- child.

“It is the boys who study with girls, and who live with them at home –the same boys can lift or trample them.

These events are crucial in transforming the mindset of the whole community. “It takes the first step to move on – and we hope that this will go far, and the community will be transformed.

There are no girls/boys’ chores at home, a boy can also cook and wash dishes – by helping each other at home children are not only learning to love one another, but to protect and care for each other.

Everybody has a sibling. Nobody likes to see his/her sister’s life being destroyed by another man. They will do all it takes to protect them – and this is out of love.

“Let all of you who are here today be ready to stand for girls, it is us who will change our societies. Being educated means being ready to educate the majority in the community, I mean our parents, brothers, and sisters – we now know that bad gender-related practices in our communities such as Female Genital Mutilation, early marriages, as well as early sexual behaviors are not good, and we can end them together.

You need to love, care, and protect girls who are our sisters and mothers.” In the event, it was noted that nothing brings together both boys and girls like sports and to crown it all-it involved all sorts of entertainments and games, which included football, chasing chickens, rope pulling, running in sacks, and running with a spoon carrying an egg.

Thereafter, the schools were individually provided with full jersey and balls as a part of recognizing the importance of sports in health and academic performance.

Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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