Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon Frankie A. Campbell, applauded 50 young boys who are members of the L.W. Young Boys Empowerment Club for having the strength of courage, and conviction, to take a “deliberate step in the right direction.”
“The Good News is that you have taken a deliberate step in the right direction. You have intentionally decided that you are going to do the right thing. You have chosen that amidst all that is negative, that amidst all of the distractions, you are going to dedicate a part of your time to some positivity. “It is so easy to do what everybody else is doing,” Minister Campbell continued. “It is so easy to try to fit in and so difficult to stand out and say ‘I don’t think that I am better than anyone else, but I want to be different. I want to make some choices that will cause me to be a better person.’ By becoming members of this Club, you have made the commitment to do just that and I applaud you for your courage and determination.”
Addressing a one-day Boys Empowerment Seminar held at the Grace Community Church Hall (Friday, February 14) under the theme: “Empowered to Rise, Inspired to Lead,” Minister Campbell took the opportunity to address the young males about leadership. The seminar was a collaboration between officials from the Male Desk and 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, I am My Brother’s Keeper, Motivational Speaker, Gang Prevention, and Cyber Crime. Fifty boys participated in the seminar. 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.
Launched October 2018, with 20 young men, the club’s enrollment has grown to 50. The genesis of the seminar was to take the boys away from the school campus environment into a safe and open environment where they could participate in presentations ranging from conflict resolution to motivational speeches on maximizing their potential. Minister Campbell told the boys that leaders have the responsibility to set good examples, and a further responsibility to ensure that the persons who look up to them as role models will continue to be proud of what it is they are doing and the direction in which they are being led – among others. “You are the Eagles Club. Eagles are the most respected of the bird family. I heard somewhere one time ago that eagles do not hang out with chickens, and that has quite a bit of truth to it because Eagles are meant to soar high in the sky above everything else and this is something they cannot learn from hanging out with chickens.
“But is it possible for an Eagle to teach a chicken how to fly? Is it possible for an eagle to share some of its other qualities with chickens? Are you Eagles willing to at least attempt to teach a chicken how to fly? I challenge you to take what you have learned here today. Take what you have learned since your enrollment in the Club, and pass that knowledge and understanding onto if only one other young male with whom you associate either within your school or your community.” Minister Campbell told the boys that building and maintaining good reputations and relationships is also very crucial to their growth and development. Citing the story of the Good Samaritan, he told the boys that the Good Samaritan must have had a good reputation, along with some money, because he was able to say to the Innkeeper: ‘If the money that I gave you runs out, open up a tab and when I pass back I will pay the Bill’– a proposal the Innkeeper accepted.
“And so what I want you to work hard to achieve among all the other attributes, is a good reputation and good relationships, the kind that you will continue to build today. Now that does not mean that if at some point you would have taken the wrong path, it is too late to change. It is never, ever, ever too late to do good, but now that you have come to the realization that it is necessary for you to do good, I want to challenge you to continue along that path. I want to challenge you to continue to put your best foot forward. You are Eagles,” Minister Campbell added.