THEME for 2020: Empowering, Guiding and Providing Role Models for a Peaceful World
Lagos, Nigeria, March 09. 2020-Institutions, organizations, and individuals throughout our global village will observe ‘World Day Of The Boy Child’ on 16 May 2020 under the theme, “Empowering, guiding and providing role models for a peaceful world.” Of the 7.6 billion souls with whom we share Planet Earth, approximately 4 billion are males and almost 1 billion of these souls are under the age of 15. Boys are more than mere extensions of ourselves. These souls co-represent our heritage and serve as one of the links to the past and the present that intersects with the future of our families, our communities, and our world. Created under the International Men’s Day umbrella, “World Day Of The Boy Child” was inaugurated in 2018.
These 1 billion males under the age of 15 – boys – emerged from the womb with irrepressible enthusiasm, insatiable curiosity, a natural and spontaneous reaction to disappointment, rejection, failure, and spiritual, physical, psychological, and emotional pain, and a pristine view of the world. They are fragile and vulnerable. Somewhere along the journey from boyhood to manhood, boys are socialized not to express the natural and spontaneous reactions to spiritual, physical, emotional, and psychological pain, disappointment, and rejection. They are socialized to equate strength and masculinity with suppressing their natural and spontaneous reaction to pain, disappointment, and rejection; not asking for help; and shunning vulnerability. In actuality, vulnerability is about strength – it is about standing in front of another soul spiritually, psychologically, and emotionally naked. Many of these 1,004,638,305 souls are suicidal, slowly descending into the deep dark abyss of depression, and consumed by low self-esteem and repressed emotions.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an organization based in Paris, France which administers the triennial Programme for International Student Assessment (“PISA”) which examines the proficiency of 15 year olds in over 90 nations in reading, reading comprehension, science, mathematics, writing, and writing comprehension – boys throughout our global village are academically underperforming their female counterparts. The PISA scores for girls are much higher than those of boys in reading, reading comprehension, and writing comprehension. Boys find it difficult to navigate a literacy-based curriculum. Educators and school administrators equate boys’ difficulty or inability to read with their level of intelligence, label them as either “intellectually challenged” or unteachable, and arbitrarily ship them off to special education classes. The majority of these boys are brilliant. Rather than investigating why boys have difficulty developing reading and reading comprehension skills or making adjustments in the curriculum – adjustments which would include infusing the curriculum with reading material that interests boys and captivate their attention — boys are allowed to read several grades below their current grade level. Eventually, they lose interest in school and drop out. Unless an individual, organization, or institution intervenes, these souls will mature into uneducated, unemployable, and unskilled adults who will find it difficult to resist the pull of gravity of illegitimate economic opportunities and the fast track to prison.
World Day Of The Boy Child serves as a platform for individuals, organizations, and institutions to improve the manner in which we protect our boys and reclaim our heritage. How? Global and Regional Coordinators for World Day Of The Boy Child are offering a few suggestions:
- Rewrite the narrative on strength and masculinity by equating strength with vulnerability.
- Facilitate and moderate Global and National Town Halls which serve as venues for boys and adolescent males to engage in a straight-no chaser dialogue to express to key stakeholders what they need and want to safely and successfully navigate the arduous journey from boyhood to manhood. The key stakeholders with whom boys and adolescent young males would engage in discussions include educators, school administrators, law enforcement professionals, legal professionals, health care professionals and providers, social services professionals and providers, parents, legislators, business leaders, and Fatherhood and Men’s Issues advocates and practitioners. Global and National Town Hall Meetings would also serve as a venue for boys and adolescent males to co-design and co-monitor — with key stakeholders — initiatives that provide them with the resources and tools they need to successfully and safely navigate their journey from boyhood to manhood.
- Identify and support existing initiatives which have a successful track record of addressing and helping to eradicate the (A) academic underperformance of boys and adolescent males and their mischaracterization as being “unteachable”, “intellectually challenged”, and “behavior problems”; (B) rising incidence of depression and suicide among boys and adolescent males; (C) recruitment and utilization of boys and adolescent males as child soldiers; (D) underlying causes of poverty which lead to boys and adolescent males working full-time to support their families and not attending school; (E) literacy gap for boys and adolescent males; (F) lack of legitimate real-life options; and (G) lack of positive male role models.
- Employ male educators and administrators in schools located in communities that have Fatherless households or households devoid of a dominant male presence.
- Design and implement “male-inclusive” curricula in Grades K-12 by introducing reading material that captures the interest of boys and adolescent males.
- Design and implement a “No Boy Left Behind Literacy Initiative” which results in every boy reading at least one grade level above his current grade.
- Offset the repressed anger of boys and adolescent males which is a by-product of their current socialization with the design and implementation of mandatory anger management and conflicts resolution training in Grades K-12 in all school districts.
For further information about “World Day Of The Boy Child” and you can participate, please contact one of the Global Coordinators listed below.
Coordinator – World Day Of The Boy Child
Coordinator – International Men’s Day