Lead by example’ – Minister Croal tells participants at Men on Mission’s Region One launch
The Men on Mission (MOM) – a 1000-Man initiative was officially launched in Mabaruma, Region One (Barima-Waini) on Saturday morning with the aim of addressing social and other issues affecting men and boys.
Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal attended the launching ceremony held at the Regional Democratic Council compound in Mabaruma.
A brainchild of His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the initiative is intended to uplift particularly young men and boys who may face many societal ills, such as drug abuse, domestic violence, gang violence and other violent crimes through mentorship, counselling and economic empowerment programmes.
The initiative will also be the foundation to end violence against women and children.
During brief remarks, Minister Croal called on men and boys across the Region to join the programme and make use of the opportunity to be better role models for the younger generation, to be better fathers, husbands, partners and employees.
He said that not only will men have a safe speed to speak their truth, but will be provided with the training and tools necessary to make meaningful contributions to society.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to President Dr. Irfaan Ali, for this critical intervention which once successfully implemented will provide a safe space for men to come together and frankly speak their truth – about your mental state, your challenges and feelings of inadequacies,” Minister Croal said.
He added, “Our government has heard your unspoken cries for help and today we are presenting you with a real and tangible opportunity to turn your lives around.”
Regional Chairman, Brentnol Ashley spoke of the high incidence of suicide with in the region, the majority of which are young boys.
He added that there is also a high school dropout rate among boys, an issue that is very worrying.
The regional chairman has, therefore, urged the Community leaders to collaborate with the discipline services and other organizations to create mentorship and empowerment programmes targeting young men and boys within communities.
He said that the RDC will also play its part in ensuring these issues are tackled in an holistic manner.
Also in attendance were Regional Executive Officer (REO) Tikaram Bisesar, Mayor of the Mabaruma Town Council, Chris Phang, Regional Health Officer, Dr Steven Cheefoon and Regional Commander, Senior Superintendent Himnauth Shaw.
Other men and young boys including community leaders and members of the discipline services from the Matarkai, Mabaruma and Moruca Sub- districts also participated in the event.