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"Helped boys" emerge as "helped men"

Statement of the Executive Director of the Caribbean Center for Organizational Excellence delivered on the occasion of International Men's Day - 2022

Today November 19th, marks another occasion for celebration of International Men's Day. This year’s theme is “Helping Men and Boys". The day by intent is traditionally meant to honour the contributions of men as positive role models and inspire other men to be distinctive citizens within their homes, communities, business and other socioeconomic, political and cultural endeavors.

Of concern as we celebrate this day annually, has been the rather low emphasis placed on it as a focal point for inspiring the emergence of men as model citizens. At the same time, we are confronted with some very troubling social challenges among the male population within many of our societies. In fact, it is no secret that many of our jails continue to be populated by a high percentage of boys and men for a range of serious crimes.

Serious consideration must consequently be given to “Helping Men and Boys” as part of a consistent program of action. Candidly speaking, we cannot continue to sidestep important issues and hope to reap positive results. We are obligated to and should not timidly ask and answer the questions...

  1. Are there enough programmes, that are adequately funded to help our boys become great and distinctive men?

  2. Are our educational systems designed to take account of the learning challenges confronting our boys and help them achieve within their cognitive construct?

  3. Is enough attention being devoted to our boys in their formative years to cement strong positive values that will see them emerging and gravitating to more wholesome activities?

  4. Are there stigmas attached to “Men and Boys” that need to be addressed to allow them to mentally and emotionally thrive?

These and several other issues cannot be distanced from the agendas of the day if “Helping Men and Boys” is to take shape and positively impact our societies. May I suggest that “Helping Boys” is an inescapable decisive platform for “Helping Men”.

We all have a part to play as citizens, Government and wider business and civic institutions. Taking urgent steps to “Help Men and Boys” is important. It will pay meaningful dividends in time to come.

Happy International Men’s Day!

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