Our program generally is a rights-based, moral, and values-inculcating project. The children are taught respect for the different sexes (are we still allowed to use that word?). We are a Gender Based Violence prevention program, we are changing the culture at a grassroots level and enabling children to inspire others to greatness, improve behavior, to reduce bullying and Gender Based Violence (GBV). We empower children to not just stand by and watch violence unfold but to stand up and say stop, especially where bullying is concerned.
GBV we acknowledge is different, we do not want the children hurt however 70% of violence that is perpetrated, is perpetrated in the homes, seeking help is acceptable, and breaking the silence is acceptable.
The prevention of GBV is woven throughout our program from inception through the relationships built between boys and girls and through small group development. At Keep the Dream 196, we have designed a program to socialise boys and girls together, see each other as peers, and engender respect for one another. We have specific training programs which build resilience and assist young boys/men to honour and respect females including mothers, sisters, aunts, and peers. Because our program is holistic and is anchored in morals and values, we are able to overcome traumatic childhood experiences through positive role modeling of behaviors by older peers, the support of a small group, and the training we provide.
Sadly, it is our experience that Mountain School (often a euphemism for young boys from the age of 6 to 20+yrs of age being kidnapped against their will) go to this “School” to learn to be men. It requires, in the middle of winter, the boys to be stripped naked, painted either red or white, starved, circumcised in often unhygienic circumstances, and physically abused. At the end of the 3weeks, if the boys survive, they are then considered “Men”. Once the status of “Man” has been confirmed, the boys can treat women any way they want to and demand anything they want. One young man who went to the mountain returned and said that they were told they could now rape any woman they want including their grandmothers because they were now men!
This is the sort of cultural practice we are up against and why the KTD196 children’s program is so important. These Schools are means for adults to make exorbitant amounts of money without care or concern for the well fair of the child. Each year it is reported that boys die through this process. These boys, again as young as 6yrs old are told they are now men and can behave with impunity within the family. An issue that was highlighted in our recent Children’s Rights Situational Analysis (CRSA) was that boys who have been to Mountain School refused to be educated by female teachers and are very disruptive in class, this causes whole classrooms of children to fail at school.
By supporting KTD196 we are modifying behavior, and bringing back respect between the genders. We run a program, usually at camp called “Boys2Men” which challenges the boys to consider what is a man’s role in today’s society, what role models they have to inform their behavior, and what was it they required when they were growing up from an influential male in their lives.
From one group of 20 boys during this training, only 10% said they had fathers living with the family, and of that 10% both wished their fathers would leave because of the abuse observed against their mothers. Sadly, these statistics are commonplace.
Your support of KTD196 is positively influencing families and the next generations. We are providing an alternative Right of Passage for both girls and boys, which is based on respect and care. Healing families will help us heal communities long term, this generation is growing up with the skills and insight to really influence and change the status quo. All because of you! All because of your support.
I really want to thank those who have heeded my call for starting a monthly support program for KTD196 THANK YOU SO MUCH it is wonderful to have you on board, you bring a level of financial security we can rely on.
I trust this report has been interesting and that you have learned a bit more about the context in which we work and how important your support is to our impact.