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Mentor Observes Need for Breaking Misguided Beliefs About Boys

Kuteesa, a literature graduate and self-made mentor and counsellor says every school holiday he handles more than 50 such cases under an initiative he has named the ‘Boys Mentorship Programme’. He says he embarked on this in 2014 after realizing that there are a lot of misguided beliefs about the boy child, yet society has also not done much to raise boys into responsible adults.
Kuteesa briefs the boys about proper dress code

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From Biina, on the outskirts of Kampala city, Godfrey Kuteesa trains a group of boys in militaristic skills, coming to terms with emotions, agriculture, construction and leadership, among others. 

At the time he met Uganda Radio Network, Kuteesa had just finished training boys aged 7 to 17 years on appropriate public speaking, before starting a one on one session with boys who are brought in by parents with complaints of drug abuse and disrespect. 

Several parents drop in their children, on a daily basis, and pick them in the afternoon, as part of a holiday mentorship program. 

The group at the training camp this holiday comprises a one Jayden and his mother who came all the way from Mbarara to join the camp. The mother who spoke on condition of anonymity said the 15-year-old had become unruly that she had no other option left than taking him to the camp on the recommendation of a friend. 

On arrival, Jayden who was wailing and pleading for mercy was roughed up and given some lashes before being sent to detainment.  Kuteesa was heard shouting, “You don’t trust your mother and your uncle, but these are the people who care about you.”  This seemed to be his routine since he embarked on mentoring which is still a new phenomenon to many in Uganda. Shortly before that, another boy had dashed out of his office with teary eyes together with the mother. 

Kuteesa, a literature graduate and self-made mentor and counsellor says every school holiday he handles more than 50 such cases under an initiative he has named the ‘Boys Mentorship Programme’.  He says he embarked on this in 2014 after realizing that there are a lot of misguided beliefs about the boy child, yet society has also not done much to raise boys into responsible adults.    

//Cue in; “Even the leaders...     

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He said because so many people in society prefer to stay silent about the social issues affecting them, boys going through challenges fail to get someone to relate to or open up to, which in the ends turns them into irresponsible adults. He says it’s because of this that the rates of drug and alcohol addiction are on the increase, especially among the youth.  

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Kuteesa explains that as the world continues clearing space for the girl child, the boy is being neglected and roles of raising boys is being thrown at mothers who have become single mothers partly because of how society has been holding the position of males as those that can’t be questioned and that they can’t take up certain roles.   

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He urges the government to come up with balanced policies for both males and females.     

//Cue in; “ I think we…    

Cue out… break the directorates.” //    

For him, an entity that exclusively handles male affairs is urgently needed if the country is to tackle issues of domestic violence, dependence on drugs and morality. Kuteesa says that every boy should at least go through training on resilience, respect and discipline which until recently in Uganda have been a reserve of the army, the seminary and other religious entities. 

However, his militaristic boot camp has been criticized by some sections of the public especially when he early this year invited the Special Forces Command to facilitate one of the mentoring events. 

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