Most times, I do not know how hosting the boys I mentor for a weekend will influence their lives. As part of the first Journalism Club I am mentoring, there is so much to learn and the need is so huge, what I am availing to them may seem like throwing pebbles into the ocean!
Hosting these boys reminds me of five of my teachers, I call them life teachers. Two were my English teachers in primary school. Two taught me English in high school. One taught in a school for the blind while the last one used to be a university lecturer. All these men taught me how to be a man.
Opening doors to new experiences
All these teachers had one thing in common. They opened their doors and enabled me to experience new things that opened my eyes to what I could possibly become in the future. By doing so, I managed to eat a balanced diet (even if it was just for a weekend!), listened to new music and read books that influenced my life.
By working with boys in juvenile prison and informal schools, I am finding myself doing the same things to the boys I am having the honor of mentoring and coaching. Most of the times, though, it feels like I am merely throwing pebbles into the ocean because the needs of the boys I mentor is much bigger than merely hosting them for a weekend.
Teaching a 17 year-old young man what I learned when I was 13 is not easy. Teaching such a person how to be kind, caring and compassionate towards women, children and other men is not easy especially when they have lacked this kind of guidance from their own fathers.
It is so amazing that most of these boys possess what I grew up lacking… the presence of a father. Yet they are still thirsting for fatherly leadership, guidance and love. It used to bother a lot 5 years ago, when I quit my job to work with boys. I felt so inadequate; I gave up on numerous occasions.
How can I offer what I did not get from a man?
Why me of all the capable men that I see in church, offices and driving good cars?
I kept asking myself, questioning my qualifications to mentor, coach and empower boys. Thankfully, I met a group of wonderful ladies and a married couple during a mission trip in 2014. All of a sudden, my whole life started to change. Of course, it did not happen by accident. It is because of having an active and prayerful born again Christian mom and the fact that I gave my life to Christ too.
I know there is usually a lot of hatred, filth and rumors impending violence and chaos every time our country is just about to have a general election. However, I believe we are at a special place to affect history, generations and the way men and women engage with each other.
By embracing and giving other people’s children a forum to experience new things, we affect the world. Let us help other people’s children instead of thinking they will outshine ours. Let us learn how to teach our children to share what they have with their peers. Not only will this empower other children, it will safeguard our own children.
By availing ourselves, our knowledge, experiences and the resources we have to other people’s children, we end up empowering them to find their own paths towards their own beautiful destinies. The results may not be evident immediately. Nevertheless, I know there are ripples happening on the surface of the ocean. There are so many children, youth, men and women who our involvement and they need us. I am throwing pebbles into the ocean and will continue doing the same, to the boys I am working with.
What about you?