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News and events

The boys are on board!

The boys at our newest site are on board, demanding ‘please level the playing field!’

At a recent Community Dialogue meeting, convened by the community but facilitated by our very own Joy Khumalo, it wasn’t just the girls who were the subject of discussion. Since the very beginning of the Beatrice Project and Ntombi Nto’s work, we have been aware of the need to target boys as well as girls. It has been tremendous that there have been, amongst the leaders, a number of significant men from the communities, churches and schools, all involved in promoting the work, and the teaching programme (based on the Auntie Stella resource pack, produced in Zimbabwe), has already been used at the original sites to support the group work with boys as well as girl students on the project. Now the boys at our newest site have stepped forward and are speaking for themselves.

The Community Dialogue meeting was attended by an impressive array of people from the community: the Head of Human Rights and Gender Based Violence in the area, a Childline representative, the headteachers of the local primary and secondary schools as well as the high school students themselves.

In her report, Joy explained to us that the boys bemoaned the fact that the girl child was ‘getting all the attention’ and said that they felt ‘left out and rejected’! They went on to say they even felt that they were being punished for the sins of their elders who preferred to teach the boy child past grade seven while the girl child was not given the chance for education.

Needless to say, the response of Ntombi Nto and of the Beatrice Project was very positive: the boys’ request that we level the playing field and include them in the SRH (Sexual and Reproductive Health) education from the outset has been heeded and this newest site is off to a flying start..… the pictures speak for themselves!

SBH 26.7.22