Working to match the young men with the new generation of empowered girl children, Bright Light Projects BLP have kicked off the Young Men Entrepreneurship Program in Cameroon.
Franco Bonghan, the Executive Director of Bright Light Projects had earlier said that it is important that you men are also prepared to handle the crop of women being empowered by the numerous girl child projects being organized globally.
“We can’t keep building and empowering young girls for them to go back home and be abused by the young boys we have neglected”, Franco Bonghan had earlier said.
He said that BLP strives for gender parity, adding that while the organization has organized a number of programs to empower young girls, they are also doing the same for boys.
The organization on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, will launch their first project targeting to empower young boys in Cameroon.
Titled Young Men Entrepreneurship (YME), the launch will be taking place at the BLP headquarters in Bamenda, a northwest city of Cameroon.
Franco Bonghan revealed that the YME program will focus on skills development, entrepreneurship, and mentorship for Young men ages 18 – 25.
“Beyond the skills, we have second chance education as well as the reintegration of young men into society torn apart by varying difficulties”
“If the goal of gender mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality, then it requires gender-specific actions whenever men or women are in a disadvantaged position”
“At BLP, we strive for gender parity. Engaging young boys and men in the gender equality campaign requires that we engage them positively, empowering them with the necessary skills and tools to better understand and articulate issues of gender for women and girls”
He said that the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon has brought untold stories of hardship to the northwest and southwest regions of the country, and deepened the already fragile economic situation.
“In a country where youth unemployment is high, there is a need to engage young men and women with skills that would transform and empower them to be change agents and role models in their communities”, he said.
According to Franco Bonghan, the BLP followed the strategic approach method, carrying out vulnerability assessments in different communities to interview, select, and prepare beneficiaries for the YME program.
He said that the BLP team had also signed a special memorandum of Understanding with different training centers where the beneficiaries will be undertaking training for the next 12 months in line with BLP’s vision to promote and support beneficiaries to become self-reliant and contribute positively to the development of their communities.
“Engaging boys and young men is a proactive approach to safeguarding gains made toward gender equality because they become key stakeholders in promoting, understanding, and advocating for gender equality”
“They become ambassadors of empowerment of girls and young women. This is important and will provide for the necessary cultural shift of male dominance dismantling customary and institutional laws that have promoted gender inequality for so long”
“The entire BLP team is excited about this new opportunity and we look forward to partnering with other key stakeholders and CSOs to expand the YME program to other BLP operational communities and countries’ , He said.