One thing we can take from so many readings, especially those that aim to preach of a world that is in itself unfair, is that life is not particularly fair to anyone. Whether we want to take different phenomena into reality, the truth still remains that there will always be mishaps along the way. However, in this world that has so much been tagged as unfair, we, as humans, can strive to do things that would make us come close to the reality of perfection, balance, sanity, and equality.
It is this quest to bring about an active change in society, one which can pride itself on the fact that the humans that live within it, are part of the keepers of sanity and peace, that Boys Without Borders (BWB) has set out achieve. The Organisation has identified boys, their orientation, sensitisation, education, and advocacy as key ingredients in achieving a perfectly balanced society that is free of many mishaps.
The goal of raising functional men is one that BWB is committed to achieving. This is carried out without any prejudice towards the female gender. In fact, BWB is not an organisation set out to rival any female-oriented organisation. We rather aim to put the spotlight on the boys whilst claiming that though the issues raised concerning girl-child are valid, those of the boy-child are neglected and deserve to be under the perusing eyes of the society, with solutions preferred, In summary, the plights of the boy-child are very much valid, and ours is a boy child advocacy group dedicated to raising societal awareness about those plights.
For two years, BWB continued steadfastly in its aims and objectives of boy child advocacy via community outreaches, school outreaches (where boys themselves are spoken to), the organisation of public symposiums, the printing of educative pamphlets, the releasing of bi-weekly article publications called Breaking Borders, Letters to the Boy child, and Boys’ Trybe (nuggets that are uploaded on our socials). Also, there is the Boy’s Trybe HQ, an online community where gender-based trendy issues are discussed.
Having done all these, it feels just like yesterday, the stern realisation that the dust of time whizz past just after every sunrise hits everyone. Indeed, the joyous realisation that this great organisation is now in her second year of striving to achieve its goals dawns on us.
To commemorate our second year anniversary, we decided to ask our volunteers to talk about their view of the Organisation, the exciting times, their challenges, and how impactful Boys Without Borders has been as a boy child advocacy group. They have quite a lot to say.
Something About Our Founders
“I remember the words of my friend and co-founder of this organization, Solomon, when he reached out to me about joining the organization. He said, “You remember what we both discussed about the need to form a boy child advocacy organization to build a good society and thus, a better Nigeria? Bro, I believe joining Boys Without Borders will be a good step towards achieving the goal.”
The joy of contributing to building a positive society, particularly from the boy child angle, has been my driving force when undertaking any task as a member of the organization. Honestly, it has been a wonderful experience so far, having to meet and work with people I have no prior relationship with; the team vs team banters, and so on. Also, I’ve got to learn practical things that I can employ when raising a boy child in the future. I pray BWB grows stronger and better.”
– (Oloruntoke Opeyemi, Assistant Team Lead, Logistics Team)
“It’s amazing how far BWB has come as an organization committed to boy child advocacy. In the words of Solomon, one of the Co-Founders, we’re making impacts, outreach by outreach, school by school, boy by boy. Being a member of BWB has helped me channel my being and resources into contributing to social good. I love how we maintain a formidable spirit online and offline. As the organization starts its 3rd journey, I hope that we have enough resources and opportunities to tap into to help us reach the heights we want to reach and make impacts as much as we would love to. Happy Birthday, BWB!”
– (Theophilus Alawonde, Content Development Team)
Starting Like it is Nothing But Realising the Vision
“It’s been a beautiful journey. I started like it was no big deal. I mean, I just wanted to volunteer, and that was it. But then, after going through the Content Guidelines, I realised it was more than just volunteering but about impacting lives. I realized after my first school visitation here that the boys seemed really excited to have people come to talk to them. What we do is uncommon. I have learned, unlearned, and relearned in this journey. I wish BWB many more years to come. I love this family.”
– (Adewusi Esther, Team Lead, Feedback Team)
“I never really thought I’d be this committed to the goals of the organisation as I am now. I joined because I just had always thought I will volunteer in some organisation in my undergraduate days and I wanted to build my résumé. However, upon being a member of the organisation, I realised that BWB is the Organisation that this society needs.
Growing up on the streets of Mushin, many things that society has normalised as being part of the process of simply being boys are things that harm the boy-child.
These are things that BWB has made me see. A few months ago, when I got home, a brother told me he saw my status and my posts on BWB and quizzed me if indeed boys can be raped. I said yes, and this sparked a deep conversation among the adults in my house that day. That was when I knew that truly, our work is valid at BWB. I am proud of every day that I see I am a member of this Organisation. Love, from the Agbero Team. Lol!”
– (Olamilekan Mashika, Team Lead, Content Development Team)
Loving What We Do at Boys Without Borders
“It’s been a beautiful experience overall and I’m grateful for the opportunity to impact. The most exciting moments are the school visitations. I have had the opportunity to attend two, and they were fulfilling. I love what we do and I’m proud to be here, giving the boy child a voice. A challenging moment will be leading the IDBC team. Asking myself the question, “am I making sense”?… I wish BWB more impactful years and I see us going global with more solid structures.”
– (Abdulmojeed Kawthar, Content Development Team)
“It’s been a really great journey for me. I’ve met some amazing people through BWB, I’m really grateful for that. BWB makes me feel good about myself for being part of this greatness. I hope the organization gets stronger and better. I’ve only been to two outreaches and I can’t even choose which excited me more, loved every moment so much.”
– (Olajide Amudat, Team Lead, Finance Team)
“My experience as a member of Boys Without Borders has been nothing short of amazing! I particularly enjoyed the IDBC2022 Public Symposium on Redefining the Narrative of the Boy child, which is quite pivotal in our modern society. It has really been an impactful experience joining BWB. We keep breaking borders!”
– (Dele Olátúnjí, Feedback Team)
Joy and Fulfillment
“It’s been quite lovely, to say the least. Now that’s not to liken every day as a member of BWB to a party or anything like that, but rather to highlight just how fulfilling and exciting it is to be a part of something you genuinely believe in. The thought of us making a difference is one that puts a smile on my face. It has been reasonably challenging, but that’s to be expected of anything truly worthwhile. Here’s to more amazing years at BWB. May it only get better from here on out.”
– (Jucal Adedokun, Assistant Team Lead, Content Development Team)
“It’s been wonderful! I really enjoyed all the times that we had physical gatherings; every time we visited schools. I’ve also learnt about the realities of neglecting the boy child.”
– (Àjàyí Deborah, Feedback Team)
Best Decisions Made
“Being a member of BWB has been one of the best things that ever happened to me in the University of Ibadan. Though, I have not really been participating in the reaching out exercises, but the pictures and feedback I’ve been receiving are quite wonderful. So far so good, I haven’t experienced any challenges. As for the impacts, I have been working really well with the Feedback Team. I have helped in writing different questionnaires for the team.”
– (Ogunkanmbi Oluwatobi, Feedback Team)
“Joining BWB last year is one of the best decisions I made. I have learnt teamwork, accountability, selflessness,, and responsibility. My major challenge is not being able to attend some of the events planned, but I hope that will change this new year. As BWB turns 2, I wish all of us a wonderful celebration and more progress and impact in the society. Up and up we go!”
– (Edet Blessing, Feedback Team)
Now that all has been said, we still remain unwavering in our boy child advocacy mission – a quest to raise functional men and have a society that is balanced. A society that is proud of itself, a society free of gender-based prejudices and the stains of the repeating trendy news on social media. We will remain committed to ensuring that the community is part of the process of raising boys into functional men who are useful to society. For us, boy child advocacy is a necessity.