NGO trains faith-based youths on triggers, prevention of GBV in homes, communities

An NGO, Hayche Multi Service Solution, has trained male members of faith-based youth organisations on triggers and prevention of Gender Violence (GBV) in homes and communities.

The five-day training, which is a train-the-trainer workshop was organised by Hayche Multi Service Solution working with Christian Youths’ Organisations to put an end
to GBV in homes, groups, communities and Churches.

The workshop was themed: “Training of Programme Facilitators for the (+M) Positive Masculinity Programme to End GBV”.

The Christian youths, which are drawn from the South-East and North Central, are from Anambra and Enugu States (South-East) as well as Benue and Plateau States (North Central).

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Wilfred Okeke, the Programme Coordinator (+M) Positive Masculinity Programme, said the facilitators are being trained to effect attitudinal change on adolescent boys and young male adults to drive a gender-equitable masculine identity.

According to him, the programme is meant for adolescent boys and young males to reflect on issues, practices and teachings both on the
religious side (bible quotations), tradition, customs and stereotypes that trigger, encourage and justify violence against women and girls.

He said: “The (+M) Positive Masculinity Programme is a programme meant to encourage and support individual behavioural change and socio-emotional change among adolescent boys and young males between the ages of 15 and 35 on how to treat females with respect, fairness and love they deserve.

“It is also meant to change negative and stereotyped social norms and attitudes of what it means to be a man; thus, males coming to treat females and women with equity and respect and not lording it over them that usually create fraction, disagreement and violence.

“The programme tries to shift these negative norms and stereotypes that the man or male is dominant and must lord it over the female (woman) and see that she is suppressed and subjugated leads to most violent scenes in homes, groups, communities and the Church.”

Okeke explained that the programme targeted training Christian youths due to the discovery that there are some misquoted biblical quotations people use to encourage or perpetrate GBV in homes and communities; while some Church leaders give support to these misquoted verses.

“They do this in error by not giving the biblical quotations contextual and historical background and meaning to actually create proper understand of what the Holy Bible is truly saying,” he said.

Okeke said that the programme would leverage existing structures of Christian Youths’ Organisations in various Churches in South-East and North Central parts of the country to step down the training.

“We intend to approach GBV from a preventive stance where all Christian adolescent boys and young males learn and re-learn how to treat our sisters, women and mothers better for peaceful and more loving homes, communities, groups and Church, where everybody is respected and accommodated,” he said.

One of the participants (facilitator being trained), Mr Ifeanyi Ohaju, said
that he had learnt to treat females with respect, ensure they are not discriminated against in all decisions and shun all name-calling and gossip against them which usually irritates them and leads to disagreements and violence.

“I have learnt that GBV can be psychological, financial, sexual and physical; and as males we must ensure the home, group and community is conducive for the female to be happy, feel loved and respected to create needed harmony,” Ohaju said.

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