Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) has introduced ‘father groups’ in the areas of Traditional Authority Kayembe and Chakhaza in Dowa district in a quest to promote boys education in the district.
Speaking in an interview) GENET Programs Officer, Twambilile Kayuni said the organization thought of introducing the Father Groups in Dowa in older to address educational challenges among boys in the district.
“As GENET we thought it is important to introduce the father groups in Dowa that will be offering guidance and support to the male learners after we noticed that boys are not going far with their education because of lack of motivational support,” said Kayuni.
She added her organization was prompted to introduce the Father Groups after noting that almost all the schools across the country have mother groups which provide guidance and support to girls.
However, Kayuni observed that boys feel sidelined as only a few schools have the father groups as a result they do not go far with their education.
She further said most of the boys do not have the confidence to tell women in the mother groups about their problems such as violence of battering and gender based violence, saying the introduction of the father groups will accord boys a chance to voice out their concerns.
“Many boys feel shy to tell women about problems they face since people believe that men are supposed to be strong and this makes boys to be silent if they have been beaten or face gender based violence. With the father groups boys will be freely expressing their problems and get assisted,” she said.
Dowa District Commissioner, Alex Mdooko, said GENET has come up with a good initiative of empowering men in his District through father groups saying that boys will be guided and protected in communities and schools in the district saying that fathers are strong advocate to boys.
Recently GENET trained 60 education managers from 30 schools in Dowa on child protection skills who will be facilitating the Father Groups on how they can handle cases of violence which boys face in communities and schools in the country.
GENET is working on a project in Dowa called ‘Combating Sexual Gender Based Violence Project’ with funding from COMIC Relief in partnership with OXFAM Malawi.