We have always been told that today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. However, it appears we aren’t paying adequate attention to building these kids into leaders. Cases of neglect and abuse of kids abound in our communities.
Also, the growing rate of broken homes in today’s society continues to pose a great risk on the development and future of kids today. Increase in the number of teenage crimes and drug addiction, seems to point to the fact that something is intricately wrong with the family, which is supposed to be the building block of the society. The need for guidance, counsel and mentoring as a boy transitions from adolescent into his youth cannot be overemphasized. Statistics have shown that boys with a mentor are:
more likely to experience success in academics
less likely to suffer peer pressure and anxiety
Less likely to develop negative behaviours
- 2.5 times more likely to succeed academically
- 3 times less likely to suffer peer pressure and anxiety.
- 2 times less likely to develop negative behaviors
Less likely to use alcohol
Boys in mentorship programmes are 46% less likely to use drugs and 27% less likely to use alcohol. Sadly, there are few programmes that cater to the emotional and social needs of majority of these boys, especially those living in the inner cities of Nigeria.
Less likely to use drugs
According to UNICEF, there are over 10.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria. A sizable number of them are exposed to drugs abuse, gangs, street hawking, alcohol, cyber crimes and other negative vices. Most of these boys are from broken homes. Some do not have responsible father figures who could train and mentor them. So, they are left to figure out how to deal with societal pressures.
Therefore, our approach to understanding these boys and mentoring them must be revisited, if we must help them discover their potentials and becomes change agents in the future.
It is to this end that Boys Lead Foundation, a 501 (c) non-profit with CAC registration CAC/IT/NO 112609, will be hosting the 1st National Boys Conference, with the theme: “Raising Boys As Heroes”. The conference is slated for the 17th January, 2018 at the Indoor Sport Hall, National Stadium, Lagos by 10.00am.
The NATIONAL Boys Conference 2019 will provide a platform for mentoring, motivating and inspiring teenage boys, from within the ages of 8-18 years old, to capture and incubate a vision of a rewarding future. The conference will afford the boys opportunity to listen to and dialogue with seasoned speakers and industry influencers, who will go on to become mentors, providing them with career advice, guidance and support.
The conference will draw key insights from UNICEF’s ‘Progress For Every Child in the SDG era’, with panel session on the 5 dimensions of children rights: Survive+thrive, learning, protection, environment, fair chance.
The event shall also feature sessions on scholarship opportunities within and outside Nigeria, travel and exchange programme opportunities, sponsorship and support systems, and many more. The conference is expected to host over 5000 boys, drawn from high schools all across Lagos.