On 22 January 2018, Dr Jerome Teelucksingh from Trinidad and Tabago, in the Caribbean sent a letter to government leaders and NGOs calling for the inaugural observance of the International Day of the Boy Child more commonly known as International Boys’ Day on 16 May 2018.
The last part of his letter says, “On the media, there are regular incidents in which young, misguided boys and teenagers are involved in crime and violence. It is one of the Caribbean’s most challenging social problems. Not surprisingly, this is also a problem plaguing other nations across the globe.
There is little room for debate when I write, “We need to save the Boy Child.”
We need to protect the boy child from the harmful influences of society. There is an urgent need to focus on the home and school in order to save the boy child. The boy child lives in a turbulent social environment that makes him vulnerable to a multitude of negative forces. If a boy child is neglected or fed a diet of hate and violence it is obvious he will develop into a teenager who is misguided and confused. And the next crucial transition into manhood will be even more difficult.
Protecting the girl child is equally important. Some of us would be aware that since 2012, the United Nations marks 11 October as the “International Day of the Girl Child“. The obvious question is – why have we not dedicated a day that focuses on the Boy Child? We must not allow the continued imbalance of the gender scale. We cannot ignore that without a focus on both the boy child and the girl child, gender equality is not a reality.
Too many of our boys are invisible and forgotten. Each boy is important and in this race of life, nobody should be left behind. It is within this context that the first observance of “International Day of the Boy Child”, henceforth known as “International Boys’ Day” will be observed on 16 May 2018.”
Dr Jerome Teelucksingh initiated the celebration of International Men’s Day on 19 November in 1999 and is well known for his groundbreaking work making a stand for boys and men. Warwick Marsh and the team at Dads4Kids, Australia responded positively to Dr Jerome Teelucksingh’s call for this observance of International Boys’ Day to help address the boy crisis.
Dads4Kids is the driving force behind the digital promotion of International Men’s Day and have sponsored the construction and digital promotion of the International Boys’ Day website: www.internationalboysday.org. International Boys’ Day aims to highlight and address the unique needs and challenges that boys face the world over.
The simple goal of International Boys’ Day is that every boy will grow up to become a man of honour and integrity and be able to contribute in a vital way to his family, his community, his nation to make the world a better place for boys and girls everywhere.