In my family, we were six boys only. We don’t have sisters. So Mum would tell us “As long as you live in this house, you are pounding maize! You will do house chores.” Even if we went out and had our boy fun, we knew that when you returned you had to do your duties. Behind the public eyes.
Before the #ARealManIs Programme, which is an African Alliance YMCA programme implemented in partnership with Kenya and Zambia YMCA, I used to feel shy about doing women duties. I used to think “What will people say?” Since my exposure to the programme and being actively involved in coordinating masculinity sessions myself, I now do openly and proudly that which I used to be shy about. I facilitate masculinity conversations with other young men which have impact. I already see the difference in my community.
A Real Man Is gave me a public voice. I even serve as a counsellor and advisor as to how to live and behave as a real man myself.
The journey of Transformative Masculinity is in progress. I am part of this, as a real man. Proudly so. Changing the way we treat and behave with our women.
Lenous Mbega – Branch Manager, Kilifi YMCA
The Transformative Masculinity Programme is a UN Women funded project developed and implemented by the African Alliance of YMCAs. The project called #ARealManIs, is rolled out with coordinating partners Kenya and Zambia YMCA .The aim of the programme is to foster a positive male identity among boys and young men to be the solution and champion gender equality, eradicate violence against women and support education and peaceful socio-economic development with girls and women. This is achieved through capacity building training, awareness campaigns and community mobilisation to promote active citizenship with all key stakeholders.