Shaping minds of young boys

Volunteers were happy to the help the boys acquire new skills.

A group of non-governmental organisations have called on the society to start focusing on teaching boys how to live a positive life from a young age.

The three organisations, AmaQhawe ngeMfundo, Africa Can Foundation and You Only Live Once (YOLO), are determined to change young boys’ lives and encourage them to believe in themselves. The NGOs have started to teach different life skills to Grade 9 boys from schools in Khayelitsha.

The first session was held at Luhlaza High School in Khayelitsha on Saturday September 22, with boys being taught maths, science, technology and general life skills.

Speaking to Vukani about the initiative, AmaQhawe ngeMfundo leader Dr Fanelwa Ngece-Ajayi said the way to save the boy child from social ills is to keep him in class and that society should learn to speak the language of young boys.

“We have to come down to their level to be relevant to them. By so doing we will be able to capture (their attention). We have to save the boy child. And one way to do that is to constantly educate them,” she said.

She also called on society to stop making boys look like criminals and commended Yolo and Africa Can Foundation for taking the lead in working with the Grade 11 boys.

She called on other organisations to do the same and to create platforms for young boys to speak about themselves and develop their self-esteem.

“As a society we have responsibility to make them feel they are people too. Let’s all make sure that we create a society where young boys feel responsible to protect us and the entire society,” she said.

Africa Can founder Athenkosi Nzala was happy to have worked with other NGOs to help develop young boys. However, he believes the work should start at a primary school level. “There is a natural death of potential, especially in the black townships. The problem we have is that there are no platforms for young people to express themselves. What we are doing now is to say, we are giving you (young boys) a platform to show your critical thinking, your entrepreneurial skills and other things,” he told Vukani.

“I wish this could start at early age, at primary level where we engage them in critical thinking. Big up to the organisations, especially AmaQhawe for this initiative. It is partnerships like these that would change our society for good,” he said.