Since time in memorial, the boy child has benefited from the warm and stewardship of a caring society that provided guidance, mentorship and direction. There were rites of passage that moulded boys to be great and cultivate ideals and virtues.
That has changed. A fast-paced society, globalization and survival for the fittest has denied the boy child in Kenya the all-important direction for survival, lifeskills and growth. Boys are now resigning to fate: drug abuse, immorality and crime. They are not unleashing their potential in areas of their choice: education, sports, craftsmanship among others.
To respond to this, KCDF, a Kenyan Foundation that supports the sustainable development of communities in Kenya, started MENTENDA, an initiative that is inspiring the society to move from inertness to action on the pressing challenges facing the boy child in Kenya.
MENTENDA, a brand that connotes men taking action is a transformative mentorship and role modelling initiative that is bringing various partners to nurture and mentor boys between the ages 14-25 years to become confident and responsible men while unlocking their potential to become leaders in their spaces of influence.
Why this Initiative?
The boy child has received far less societal leadership, family guidance, and poor transfer of life skills from one generation to another. This phenomena, coupled with a weakening sense of counsel, protection, recognition and most importantly - love have made the boy child vulnerable to societal vices and a weak sense of self identity creating a growing challenge to families, communities and the nation at large.
Through working with partners, the initiative has adopted the following programme strategies:
a) Peer-to-peer interactions among and across high school boys.
b) Public dialogue through talk show discussions on diverse media platforms.
c) Inspirational, motivational and career talks.
d) Community and corporate sector involvement through in school mentorship and involvement of old boys (alumni).
e) Promoting community service among youth-volunteerism.
The topics covered in this initiative include:
- Definition of a man
- Values for greatness
- Responsible sexuality
- Career development
- Building character for success
- Challenges of masculinity
- Servant leadership
- Positive patriotism
- Building self-confidence
- Conflict resolution
- Community service
The overall long-term outcome of the initiative is to see young men become men of honor who recognize and unlock their potential of being leaders in their areas of influence while displaying confidence, responsibility and a renewed sense of giving back.
The short-term to mid-term outcomes expected from the initiative are boys with improved academic performance and discipline, a higher transition rate through the school system, strengthened family and societal values, youth with strong community connections and volunteerism culture, and an enhanced career and life skills opportunities for the boys.
To make this initiative successful, KCDF is seeking to build partnerships and collaborations with, among others, the following partners:
a) Ministry of Education (National and County level)
b) Ministry of Devolution-Youth programme
c) Parents Teachers Associations (PTA)
d) NACADA (National Commission for Control of Alcohol and Drug Abuse)
f) Private sector
g) Faith Based Organizations (FBO)
h) Host communities & general public
i) Boys secondary and high schools
j) Out of school male youth/young adults
Building confident, well-moulded and visionary young men who recognize and unlock their potential will drive growth in the country; reduce their vulnerability to crime, immorality and drugs. Investing in the boy child is, therefore, investing in cohesion and prosperity.
One can be part of this great initiative through these various channels:
1. Become a Sponsor
- Adopt one school of your choice at a cost of KShs. 500,000 per year, a school within a radius of 100 Kms from Nairobi County. The school must demonstrate interest and commitment to the initiative.
2. Become a Champion or Mentor
- Provide opportunities for KCDF to recruit men of integrity as champions or mentors within your networks.
- Connect KCDF to potential schools that have shown interest and commitment for the initiative.
3. Become a Participating MENTENDA School
- Schools willing to be part of the initiative must demonstrate interest and commitment for the initiative.
|Corporate Partner (Mentors)||School (Mentees)||Year of Implementation|
Upper Hill School
Isuzu East Africa
Muhuri Muchiri Secondary School
Victoria Commercial Bank
Aquinas High School
Dagoretti High School
Standard Media Group and I&M Bank
Highway Secondary School
Parapet Cleaning Services
To support a young man through the ten topics covered in the mentorship sessions, you can make a personal donation of Kshs. 2500 through MPESA paybill:
Account Number: 522800
Account Name: MENTENDA