Home Compassion Nuwasasira’s boy child mentorship shines light

Nuwasasira’s boy child mentorship shines light

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In today’s global village where diverse cultural mix has created gender confusion, proper guidance to the young generation, especially the boys, is not just a necessity, but an urgent need, yet most parents do not have the time to impart on to their children the appropriate gender roles and responsibilities, leaving many at the mercy of cultural exporters. However, noting this real challenge, Emmanuel Nuwasasira, through his organisation, Golden Voice Foundation Africa, has stepped up to fill the gap. He shares his story with Lilian Ntege.

Inspiration & start
Growing up, Nuwasasira was surrounded by six sisters. He knew he had the full responsibility of being their protector, while their father toiled daily to provide for the family.

Nuwasasira says this gave him a unique perspective on masculinity as time passed by. He had to look out for his sisters, but who was looking out for him?

“My childhood was marked by the early death of my mother when I was just five. This deeply influenced my understanding of male identity,” Nuwasasira says.

Driven by his personal trials and what could have been an identity crisis, Nuwasasira explored more into societal perceptions of masculinity as he observed things keenly.

“Society often silences men’s vulnerabilities, we are told that real men do not cry or show emotions, yet when we look deeper, we find alarming trends in male imprisonment, crime rates, and mental health issues,” Nuwasasira says.

Recognizing a profound void in guidance and the presence of healthy male role models, Nuwasasira felt a calling to start up “something” that could give guidance to the male gender.

In 2021, at the age of 21, he embarked on a mission to challenge and change these narratives. Hence, the formation of Golden Voice Foundation Africa.

Guests and administrators pose for a photo during a celebration.

Mentoring boys
Under the foundation’s umbrella, they have programs focusing on mentorship, skills development and advocacy.

These, he says, have been successful through collaborating with diverse stakeholders such as civil society organisations, governmental entities and private sector actors in areas the foundation has amplified its reach and impact.

This organization stands as a signal, championing the cause of promoting positive masculinity and instilling supportive mindset among young men and boys.

One of the standards of their initiative is the International Boy Child Day, and Men’s Day, which they always celebrate on June 6 and November 19 of every year.

“This is a day where we awaken manhood, conduct medical screenings, and invite male role models to share their wisdom with a number of young boys and men,” Nuwasasira says.

He adds that, besides the celebrations, the foundation actively works in schools and vulnerable communities to support the boy child.

Nuwasasira says contrary to the current focus by most organisations on the girl child, boys too, need direction, understanding and continuous mentorship.

Outreaches
Over the years, Golden Voice Foundation Africa has worked with various institutions and slums. These include Kibuli Secondary School, Makerere University and Kasokoso slum.

In these places, they preached against drug abuse, advocated for and promoted peace among students, staff and the surrounding communities, among others.

At Makerere, they target boys who are usually at the forefront of strikes.

Nuwasasira says so far, they have reached over 500 boys in Kampala and surrounding areas over their two years of existence.

They have also carried out outreaches in Kitintale slum, reaching out to over 100 young boys and men whom they sensitised against crime and drug use.

At St Mary Primary School, Kasokoso, the team enlightened the boys about sexual health.

Adjusting to the digital age, the foundation is also making strides with their YouTube programme: “Identity Talk Show,” in which influential figures are hosted to share insights and inspire various youths.

Nuwasasira making a presentation during one of their events in Kampala. (Photos/Coutesy)

Beneficiary testimony
Joseph Kisakye, a beneficiary of the foundation, says an experience at the foundation’s empowerment event at Motiv, Bugolobi marked the begining of a transformation in his life.

“I was inspired by various speakers like Enock Nkuranga and Maggie Kigozi as they discussed the role and potential of the boy child in today’s world which was truly eye-opening.

“I got to learn a lot about hygiene and parenting, among others. My life has transformed in these areas,” Kisakye says.

Amidst all their milestones, the foundation’s journey has not been without challenges. According to Nuwasasira, funding remains an uphill battle at the foundation.

He also notes that societal norms sometimes blind people to the fact that men too, need support.

Despite this, he remains unwavering; with plans underway for a comprehensive mental fitness studio that promises a holistic approach to wellness.

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