MoM to establish facilities for homeless, focus on men’s health

A rigorous work programme for 2023 has been laid out under the Men on Mission (MoM) initiative, examining facilities for the homeless, working to promote men’s health and enacting behavioural change among the male population.
Chairperson of the MoM National Committee and Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Godfrey Bess on Monday updated on the progress made since their launch in October, which saw them successfully addressing issues of gender-based violence, and offering mentorship for young men.

Chief of Staff, Brigadier Godfrey Bess

For 2023, they are ready to further impact the country with their work programme following guidance from President Irfaan Ali. Five focal areas are being targeted, namely: male behavioural change through character building, men’s health, environmental transformation, capacity building for emergency relief efforts and rehabilitation.
In the area of rehabilitation, efforts will seek to create facilities to provide practical shelters for the homeless in the city, and towns. This will be done through rehabilitation of buildings or establishment of new ones. An inventory is being done to identify available locations.
He highlighted, “The objective is to ensure a design and level of comfort that reduces the efforts by these persons to return to the public streets. The facility would also provide a different level of hygiene, healthy meals daily and access to quality healthcare. The lives of these citizens should be significantly improved by the proposed MoM efforts.”
Speaking on male behavioural change, the Chief of Staff shared there remains an urgent need to see transformational behavioural change. Through the mentorship programme in 2022, sessions were conducted with the male population to provide guidance on conflict resolution. In this case, positive feedback had been reported from communities.
“It is clear that rates of domestic violence, sexual abuse, male unemployment and under employment, crime, and road violence are unsustainable for our society. MOM will continue to work with men and boys across the country to address the underlying reasons for these dysfunctions and make the necessary interventions to bring about lasting change. Under this area of focus, MoM will mount a series of sessions called Stages of Hope.”
In addition, a series of One-Week Boys’ Camps during the August school vacations will be hosted for five weeks.
It was detailed, “These camps will be geared towards a total of about 500 boys. The camps will include instructional sessions, group activities, and other components that are designed to encourage the healthy growth and proper development of boys into men. In an effort to cut down on repeat offences, there will also be a camp for young men who have previously passed through the criminal justice system.”
In the area of men’s health, Men on Mission will, with the support of the professionals who work for the Ministry of Health, operate a series of men’s health clinics with the goal of providing diagnosis, screening, and treatment for male health issues. Testicular and prostate exams, tests for chronic diseases, and counselling on a variety of men’s health concerns will be some of the services offered at these clinics.
On the environmental landscape, MoM will launch an exercise called the Colour of Life. The aim of this exercise is to support homeowners along Guyana’s primary corridors to fix their fences, paint their buildings and fences, and to plant flowering and colourful plants. The first corridor identified for this exercise is the first few miles of road from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport at Timehri. (G12)