On 10th March 2021, we had the honor of meeting His Grace, the Archbishop of the Church Of Uganda, The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kazimba Mugalu at his offices in Namirembe. During the meeting, we discussed how we can work with the church to prioritize the needs of the young people, especially the boy child.
His Grace also shared his view on the family planning situation in Uganda and we were delighted to realize that we do not differ in our sentiments. Both His Grace and Reach A Hand Uganda push for male involvement in family planning and believe that it is an important step in helping Ugandans achieve manageable family sizes.
At his inauguration, His Grace’s manifesto highlighted his passion for helping and grooming the boy child, citing that the girl child receives lots of attention growing up and oftentimes, male children are neglected which creates an imbalance in society.
“As a father to four boys, I completely see and understand the need for prioritizing the boys’ needs too. If I had not groomed my boys well, then the daughters they brought to the family would not have been as happy as they are.” He said.
“The result of neglecting the boy child is evident in the increase of drug use and abuse, loitering and dropping out of school that keeps on increasing as the years go by.” he added.
At this point, our team shared with His Grace the various projects and avenues that we presently have to benefit the boy child, as well as those that we envision could be created and implemented collectively with the church.
We talked about the Peer Educators Academy in which boys learn about their health, different life skills and are equipped with knowledge. We further talked about our MenPlus project that puts men at the forefront of family planning and encourages them to support their partners in family planning uptake decisions.
We shared a scenario that our team encountered during fieldwork when we met a jobless 29-year-old man with 30 children. We also went on to share that the young man, provided with accurate information from us, went on to undertake a vasectomy.
His Grace shared that he would not have advised this young man any differently. and that it is important for men to be more cautious about decisions on how many children they choose to have as this determines whether or not they will be able to turn all of them into responsible citizens.
We look forward to working with the Church Of Uganda and His Grace in ensuring the programming made towards the young people of Uganda caters for the boy child, to achieve a fully and equally groomed society of men and women.