Church of Uganda launches ‘Boys to Men’ mentorship to bridge gender disparity

Archbishop Stephen Kazimba

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Church of Uganda has launched a five-year strategic plan, prioritizing “Boys to Men” mentorship programme to help boys grow up into responsible men so as to address recurrent gender disparities among the congregation.

“Boys to Men” is an intervention that seeks mindset change among young men to eliminate discrimination against the feminine gender arising from distinctions regarding biology, psychology, or cultural norms prevalent in society.

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Ivan Ayijuka, the Communications Officer of All Saints Cathedral in Kampala told URN on Sunday that the church has prioritized special training modules to spiritually equip young people with the required skills like guidance and counseling and regular Bible studies among others, following the impact of the Covid-19 in the country.

Ayijuka disclosed that the youth are the majority in Uganda and the world over, thus the church has integrated essentials of development needs in areas such as development, health, education, spiritual empowerment to transform their lives.

Polly Philip Okin Ojara, a member of the congregation, also Chua West County legislator in Kitgum district observed that the church intervention is timely to address the social breakdown and safety nets of Ugandans. He expressed fear that realigning the society requires a multifaceted approach to save the young generation.

While launching the 52-page Strategic Plan booklet on Christmas Day, Archbishop Dr Samuel Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu noted that spiteful preferences by the men -treating young girls and women as an inferior gender in modern society continues to undermine gender equality.

Archbishop Kaziimba says that gender gaps start at childhood, and continue to rob children of their childhood, limiting their chances, yet every boy and girl deserves to live and prosper together without unduly affecting the world’s girls.

Uganda has experienced a deterioration of its social fabric following the pandemic breakout. For instance, since the outbreak of the virus that led to closure of places of worship and schools, 15 million learners were forced to go home.

The extended lockdown imposed by the government to curtail the spread of the contagion exposed the young people to immoral conducts. For instance, it is estimated that more than 20,000 teenage girls across the country were impregnated in 2020 leaving them with uncertain future.

Annually, the church spends about 12 billion shillings to implement different projects, meaning they will require at least 60 billion shillings in the next five years to implement and achieve the objectives of the strategic plan.

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