Explore Your Country Boys (EYC) is a week long program that serves as an important companion-program to Explore Your Country Girls which will occur later the same year. Both programs arose from the need for carrier development among students in more rural areas of the country. The Boys’ program meets the additional need of creating male members of a male dominated society that will take seriously the professional development of their female peers.
The project begins at the school level where Volunteer form relationships with Senior Secondary Schools to select a motivated and high-achieving student. Selection methods range from suggestions by school staff to the hosting of essay writing or story telling competitions. The Volunteer then works with the selected student as well as the school’s Head Teacher and Peer Health Club organizer to ensure that support will be given to students post-training as they begin propagating the ideas of the project’s curriculum.
The project aims to strengthen the knowledge of boys on gender parity and its effects on accessing essential resources to have quality education for both male and female in their schools for more advantageous access to potential careers.
The expected outcomes include but are not limited to:
A total of 450 students including 225 girls in schools and their communities will increase awareness on gender equality with men as partners,
An increased number of boys as change agents in schools and communities to promote girls education.
An enhance retention rate of girls in Senior Secondary Schools preparing them for a more direct path into the professional world.
During the actual week of training, 18 students from schools all around the country will meet for a week of sessions and excursions related to carrier development and gender equality. EYC has built relationships with a variety of exceptional universities, businesses, and individuals who will offer the participants invaluable insights and connections to the professional world. In addition to the HCNs who partner with EYC, Volunteers also accompany their selected students to help facilitate a number of sessions and to offer support through what can be an overwhelming amount of new experiences.
After successful completion of the training events, students return to their schools to hold presentations on what they have learned and experienced. The presentation will act as a logical launching point for the Peer Health Club to begin discussing the EYC curriculum in which the student will play a key role. Each of these activities will be facilitated by school staff and Volunteers with an understanding that students will take an increasingly independent role in the Peer Health Club activities as time passes. In this way, EYC is able to create men as change agents and gender advocates in their local communities. It is also able to reach a minimum of 450 students, 225 of which will be girls exposed to ideas of empowerment, equality and carrier building. This will lead to increased retention of girls in upper level schools in years succeeding the training.