Zombo CSOs concerned about street boys in Paidha, call for joint action

Members of Civil Society organisations in Zombo District deliberate to salvage the future of boys that they say has entered a high risk in favour of efforts to promote girls. (Image: George Buatre/Kazi-njema News)

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Zombo District are calling for a deliberate action by both government and non-government actors to salvage the future of boys that they say has entered a high risk in favour of efforts to promote girls.

They attribute the growing number of street boys in the urban centres of Greater Nebbi to the developed attitude that boys can be brought up in any condition.

The CSO actors call for programmes designed to monitor and support boys alongside girls to strike the gender rebalance for sustainable development.

This was among the concerns raised during a stakeholders’ engagement organised by Zombo Rural Development Network Association (ZORUDENA) to discuss gaps in the structure and implementation of NGOs’ activities in the district.

It was held in Paidha town council, Zombo district.

Mr Nelson Ogentho, the Project Manager ZORUDENA – a Community Based Organisation (CBO), emphasised that the boy child immensely needs attention like the girl child nowadays and short of it, he lags behind.

“Gone are the days when girls were given more opportunities than boys. Currently, the streets of Paidha town are dominated by young boys who are not going to school because some parents are bent on one side thinking it is only the girl child who needs to be monitored and supported all the time,” he said.

Mr William Agenorwoth, the Director Titus Ministry – a Paidha town-based CBO called for a collaborative rapid response of all stakeholders to address the growing challenge that is likely to eat up the next generation.

“When you talk about street kids, majority are boys because no one is there to stand for them unlike girls. If we take a keen look, you may find that is why we have good female leaders nowadays and men are not there,” he noted said.

The Head teacher of St John Paul II Oturgang Boys Primary School in Paidha Town, Mr Alex Susu, fears that the changing gender imbalance will not only affect boys but also girls since they live in the same society.

“Highly improved girls may end up marrying irresponsible men since they have already been wasted. I support efforts to keep it balanced for sustainable development,” he said.

In the same engagement, Mr Jimmy Olony, the board member of Zombo District NGO Forum, insisted that empowering the girl child is within the interest of the government of Uganda.

He urged the local leaders, parents and other stakeholders to continue supporting the girl child since they are still being regarded to be lagging behind in education.

However, he said he does not dispute the fact that the boy child needs attention, too, and the growing number of street boys must be addressed.

In December 2021, the Youth and Children Affairs Junior Minister, Ms Sarah Nyirabashitsi Mateke, during the second staging of the mentorship and leadership programme for female MPs at the United Kingdom High Commissioner’s residence in Kampala said inclusion of boys in emancipation programmes among others like girls will help them grow into more responsible members of the society.

To have a society better positioned, the remedy is a need to consider supporting both the boy and girl child at the same footing to avoid crimes boys commit against girls and other criminal acts including pickpocketing, burglary and drug abuse among others.

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