Inside the Groundbreaking Boy Child Uplifting Program (BCUP) 2023/2024
Background and Justification
Over the decades, our society has built an average record of 87% initiatives focusing on mentoring and empowering the girl child, whereas only 13% documented initiatives are focusing on mentoring the boy child. The continued exclusion of the boy child in gender equality campaigns and programs has created a population at crossroads grappling with; crime, low self-esteem,violence, widespread alcoholism, drug abuse, and increased school dropouts. With closer needs assessment in Uganda, the boys are becoming the weaker sex. Today, there is a substantive debate about the boy child, with many people feeling that there is need to re-think whether the advancement by girls has completely kept out the boys.
We take a sample record of the general behavior and grooming of people in our society; from the national criminal records,Uganda Prisons Service reports 74,444 prisoners including pre-trial detainees and remand prisoners as at 12th January 2023. It also shares a breakdown report as at November 2021; 95.4% as male prisoners and 4.6% as female prisoners in 3 categories of remands, convicts and debtors. prisons.go.ug. In Uganda, 60-71% of school-going children (12 to 24 years) use addictive substances, especially alcohol (19.3%) and kuber (smokeless tobacco used sublingually) at 4.4% as at 26th May 2022.
Also in Uganda, around 1 in 10 School children did not report back to school in January 2022 after schools were closed for 2 years due to the COVID-19 post lockdown school fees and requirements soar, loss of parents and guardians as well as peer pressure for sustaining small income initiatives during the lockdown.
It is therefore critical that deliberate attention be directed to the boy child who is now faced with lack of basic education, child abuse, molestation, trafficking, discrimination, but yet treated and expected to be less emotional and extremely perfect.
There is an increase in the number of boys dropping out of school. During a typical lecture session in most tertiary institutions; as the basic highest level of education, most of the occupants taking these classes are women, which begs the question; where are their counterparts? Furthermore, crime rate is on the rise and the highest number of individuals behind bars in prisons consists of young men. Others are on drugs and abusing different kinds of substances even within homes which should be a source of grooming and mentoring a child. We are on the brink of a crisis if stakeholders do not make an effort to mitigate the situation. Stakeholders in this context include the family units, religious and learning institutions, policy makers, mentors, and generally the society as a whole. This is the reason why this initiative is addressing the unfinished business of the boy child.
To empower and support the boy child through The Boy Child Uplifting Program (BCUP) to 30% of the boys and young men in Uganda who are currently living below the average life of basic education and employment.
2,352,197 Boys and young between the ages of 10 to 35 years will benefit from this program.