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Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, is calling on the country’s men to participate in the #mentorMe2020 Male Mentorship Programme, which is aimed at connecting boys at the secondary school level with positive male role models.

Through the initiative, being spearheaded by the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA), boys will benefit from support and guidance from male mentors to develop self-efficacy/life skills, and improve their academic performance and interpersonal relationship with their peers, teachers and family members.

Ms. Grange informed that 15 boys from Haile Selassie and St. Andrew Technical high schools have been selected to participate in the first cohort of the programme and 15 suitable male mentors identified to coach and empower them.

“Join in on this initiative and contact the BGA to become a mentor. We need as much support as possible,” she said.

Ms. Grange was addressing the sitting of the House of Representatives on Tuesday (November 17), where she gave an update on mentorMe2020 and the Young Fathers Jamaica Initiative, which were launched at the International Men’s Day (IMD) forum in 2019.

Regarding the Young Fathers Jamaica Initiative, she told the House that this is designed to assist young fathers, aged 15 to 29, to improve their parenting roles and responsibilities, develop life skills and improve the interpersonal relationship between themselves and their immediate family members.

“I can proudly state that we had consultation meetings with relevant stakeholders and 20 young fathers were selected to participate in the first cohort of the programme,” Ms. Grange informed.

Further updates on the initiatives will be provided at the 2020 IMD public forum (IMD) on Thursday (November 19), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston.

The event, organised by the BGA, will include presentations on prostate cancer awareness, mental health and wellness, and healthy sexual lifestyle practices.

It will also include the Outstanding Father Awards to honour men who are exemplary in their roles as fathers, mentors and role models; and the soft launch of the Exemplary Male Role Models 2021 Calendar, which is an initiative by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) in collaboration with the BGA.

Mrs. Grange said that the IMD theme, ‘A Man’s Health is a Man’s Wealth: Men and Healthy Lifestyle Practices during the Pandemic’, places focus on men’s health and well-being – social, emotional, physical and spiritual.

She said that the objective is to “encourage our men to continue the fight to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and to sensitise our men and boys on ways to improve their mental and physical health”.

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