Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, told a group of fifty young males that love and respect are two key factors on the road to peaceful co-existence – a co-existence, he said, that must be extended to the female population. “Love is the foundation upon which respect is built,” Minister Campbell said. “Love is the springboard for the sexes to co-exist in harmony and to partner with each other to continue to develop and take our nation to the next level. The Bahamas I see you leading is a Bahamas that will evolve on partnerships between the sexes; good, productive co-existence between the sexes. It is even more beneficial if we can continue along this line with the same mindset, with the same kind of philosophy of peaceful, respectful co-existence, based on love. You have a major role to play in that process beginning now,” Minister Campbell added.
Addressing the L.W. Young Boys Empowerment Club’s inaugural Boys’ Empowerment Seminar, Minister Campbell told the group of fifty boys that while it is important that they show respect to and for one another, that it was equally important that they extend the same courtesy to young girls and women. “You need to protect them, you need to ensure that no harm comes to them, you need to ensure that you love them with your words and kind and gentle actions. Ensure that you take advantage of every opportunity to get a great education because our females deserve boyfriends and husbands who are smart and intelligent. They deserve boyfriends and husbands who wear their trousers properly. They deserve boyfriends and husbands who are well groomed and properly attired. They deserve boyfriends and husbands who are hardworking, focused and steadfast, and who will open doors for them.
“I believe the potential and the capacity is right here in this room. I want to let you know that I am proud of you, that I am proud to see a group of young men doing something positive,” Minister Campbell added. The seminar was a collaboration between officials from the Male Desk, the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, and those from the L.W. Young Secondary School and the L.W. Young Boys Empowerment Club and featured presentations on topics such as The Man Box, Relationships and I am My Brother’s Keeper, Motivational Speaker, Gang Prevention and Cyber Crime. Fifty boys participated in the seminar. Launched October 2018, with 20 young men, the Club is the brainchild of Mrs. Anita Wilmott, who saw the need for a Boys’ Mentorship Programme as a “necessary tool to combat the masculinity crisis within The Bahamas.” Mrs. Wilmott was joined in her quest by: Shiann Ellis, Juan Moss, Sherard Jones, Glen King, Dr. Antoine Clarke, Amadeus Burns, Peter Rutherford, and Diego Major. The club’s enrollment has since grown to 50.
Minister Campbell also took the opportunity to inform the group on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (also known as the CRC and the UNCRC). The Social Services Minister told the group that he has been traveling throughout The Bahamas informing young persons of their Rights under the UN Convention. Minister Campbell warned the group that with Rights, come responsibility.
“The responsibility that comes along with having rights is knowing that other persons have their rights too,” Minister Campbell said. “For example there are 50 of you in this space today. Now imagine 50 persons trying to exercise their individual rights in this small space, it is not going to work unless all 50 of you respect the other person’s rights. That is the only way you will co-exist. So if you like to listen some bombastic music, while another wants to listen to Jazz, if you respect each other enough, if you wish to co-exist, you will turn the volume down or you will wear earplugs so that you do not disturb the other person’s peace and quiet. That way, everybody is able to co-exist. Respect has to be a part of your daily living, you give it, and you get it,” Minister Campbell added.
The Social Services Minister advised the group that they are in control of their futures. He said their participation in the Boys Empowerment Club was a great start in a positive direction. “There is no need for your future to be unpredictable, to be uncertain. You have an opportunity right now, right where you are sitting to decide the kind of positive future you want for yourselves. I challenge you boys to decide positively your future, work hard at it, take advantage of all of the opportunities that are available and make sure that you have the kind of positive future you want, the one you deserve.”