Cel­e­brat­ing In­ter­na­tional Men’s Day

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

Kerwin Cae­sar

Wed­nes­day Novem­ber 19, 2014 was In­ter­na­tional Men’s Day and, for the third con­sec­u­tive year, Saint Lu­cia joined the rest of the world in com­mem­o­rat­ing the event. The ob­ser­vance, which orig­i­nated in Trinidad and Tobago in 1999, has re­ceived much support from men’s groups around the world. The aim is to help make life bet­ter, not just for grown men but for young boys alike. This year’s theme: “Keep­ing Men and Boys Safe”.

The ob­jec­tives of In­ter­na­tional Men’s Day in­clude a fo­cus on men’s and boys’ health, im­prov­ing gen­der re­la­tions, pro­mot­ing gen­der equal­ity pos­i­tive male role mod­els. It is an oc­ca­sion for men to high­light dis­crim­i­na­tion against them and to cel­e­brate their achieve­ments and con­tri­bu­tions, in par­tic­u­lar their con­tri­bu­tions to com­mu­nity, fam­ily, mar­riage and child care.

In cel­e­bra­tion of this year’s Men’s Day, the Di­vi­sion of Gen­der Re­la­tions, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the IMD Plan­ning Com­mit­tee, or­ga­nized a num­ber of events which be­gan with an Ec­u­meni­cal Ser­vice at the Mi­nor Basil­ica of the Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion on Mon­day Novem­ber 17 and cul­mi­nated with a Fa­ther and Son Cricket Com­pe­ti­tion on Fri­day Novem­ber 21. On the des­ig­nated day it­self, Novem­ber 19, a sym­po­sium was held at the au­di­to­rium of the Well­ness Cen­tre on the Mil­len­nium High­way en­ti­tled “Cel­e­bra­tion of Men”. The theme for the ini­tia­tive was “Ap­pre­ci­at­ing Men’s Lead­er­ship and Sacrifice for Fam­ily and Coun­try”.

The event was truly a men’s af­fair, as only six women were in attendance on the day in­clud­ing the Min­is­ter for Health, Well­ness, Hu­man Ser­vices and Gen­der Re­la­tions, Hon­or­able Alv­ina Reynolds. Of those in attendance were Deputy Fire Chief, Lam­bert Charles and Sta­tion Of­fi­cer Bernard Pros­pere, stu­dents and teach­ers of the Clen­don Ma­son Memo­rial, George Charles, Sir Ira Sim­mons and Ciceron Sec­ondary Schools, along with mem­bers and staff of the Cri­sis Cen­tre, and wards and fa­cil­i­ta­tors from the Boys’ Train­ing Cen­tre.

As one of the pre­sen­ters on the day, the health min­is­ter ad­dressed the gath­er­ing, high­light­ing the im­por­tance of men and their roles in the fam­ily and so­ci­ety.

“Men make sac­ri­fices and lead ev­ery day, in their var­i­ous roles as fa­thers, hus­bands, and com­mu­nity and na­tion builders.”

She em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of men be­ing more aware and re­spon­si­ble for the state of their health.

“My min­istry has been ac­tively work­ing to de­velop and im­ple­ment pro­grammes specif­i­cally geared to help men take con­trol of their health.” Min­is­ter Reynolds also fo­cused her short speech on the ado­les­cent stu­dents who made up the majority in the au­di­ence, un­der­lin­ing the many chal­lenges that they are faced with, in­clud­ing sub­stance abuse, and un­der­scored the es­ca­lat­ing is­sue of al­co­hol con­sump­tion by our youth and the new trend of al­co­hol spon­sor­ship in sports, and also do­mes­tic abuse in­clud­ing sex­ual abuse.

Pas­tor Sher­win Grif­fith de­liv­ered the key note ad­dress and he too fo­cused his speech on the stu­dents present, im­plor­ing them to put God first in their lives, to learn to love and ap­pre­ci­ate them­selves in or­der to be fruit­ful in life and to en­joy life holis­ti­cally.

The event con­cluded with the launch of the Male Be­hav­ioral Change Pro­gramme. The pro­gramme, or­ga­nized by the Depart­ment of Gen­der Re­la­tions, en­com­passes a six month pe­riod of in­for­ma­tive, de­vel­op­men­tal and recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties which will seek to ed­u­cate men on the im­por­tance of their roles in the home and to en­cour­age them to be more re­spon­si­ble and aware of the state of their well-be­ing. The pro­gramme will be spon­sored by UNICEF and or­ga­niz­ers are hop­ing that men of all ages can come be a part of the ini­tia­tive along with their sons. In­for­ma­tion on the ac­tiv­i­ties will be is­sued across all forms of me­dia.

Can this year’s com­mem­o­ra­tive day for men sig­nal a change in the way they see them­selves and cre­ate a new per­cep­tion in so­ci­ety which can be passed

on to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.