There have been many advocacies and gender affirmative campaigns by governments and international NGOs aimed at empowering the girl child and restoring her voice. While there have been a lot of improvements in the fortunes of the girl child in the area of education, politics and economic opportunities, the story has been different for the boy-child who appears neglected and dangling in the precipice of social ruins, consumed by drugs abuse/addiction, cultism and other social vices.
It was in keeping with this practice that Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path-initiative (FEYReP), recently launched a mentoring programme for the Akwa Ibom child with a view to coaching and preparing these future assets for the tasks and responsibilities ahead. The FEYReP mentorship programme is an offshoot project of the “Girls Uphold Your Dignity” campaign, where girls from different schools are mentored on morals, values, social skills, leadership and career paths, by people who are successful in the different areas of their lives.
It is for these reasons FEYReP launched the boy child advocacy program tagged “BRIGHT FUTURE FOR RESPONSIBLE BOYS” with overall objectives of saving the boy child from cultism and drug addiction while educating them on sexual orientation and need for financial independence. FEYReP’s campaign on saving the boy child is premised on the fact that through years of consistent advocacy, the society has become more conscious of the needs and well-being of the girl child while the boy child is increasingly becoming an endangered specie with challenges of contemporary society ranging from cultism, drug abuse/addiction and other social vices.
As part of the project’s sensitization message, FEYReP has noted that cultism is one of the major vices confronting the Nigerian educational sector today, adding that members pledge their allegiance to the cult, devoting themselves under oath to support and carry out the activities of the group without objections. In her address at the inauguration of the campaign, Mrs Emmanuel the founder of FEYReP, advised the students against destroying themselves by involving in cultism, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and rape, adding that the future of the family and the state would be in danger if concerted efforts are not made to curb social vices in the society that are primarily targeted at the boy child.
Emphasizing the need to protect the boy child, the Governor’s wife noted that all the efforts dedicated to the protection of the girl child will amount to nothing if the boy child is allowed to stray, adding that many of the challenges facing the child girl child like sexual abuse are perpetrated by the opposite sex. According to her, it was pertinent to balance the efforts of her pet project regarding the welfare of the girl-child, by sanitizing and bringing the boy-child to a place of ample awareness and confidence to excel to greater heights, noting that her desire to look into issues relating the boy child was “borne out of the need to protect the boy child from the harmful forces of the society”.