MoPH to take hands-on approach to violence during Milo Tournament
For yet another year, the Ministry of Public Health, through its “Stop Gender Based Violence” Campaign, will add some nobility to the Milo schools’ football tournament.
Just two days before the commencement of the eighth edition of the Milo Under-18 tournament, the Ministry has renewed its partnership with the tournament in a bid to bring awareness to gender-based violence and to mould the young men involved in the tournament.
The Public Health Ministry’s involvement in the tournament has become a staple over the years, and often sees the teams and their captains coming up with phrases as a stance against violence, which they recite before every game.
Highlighting that it is important to remember that women were not the only victims of gender-based violence, Senior Health Promotion Officer Lauren Bancroft examined the importance of reaching out to youths and school-age children.
“We have seen, in our society, a surge of violence and we need to encourage young persons about the importance of having a healthy home, a healthy family environment, because overall this will promote a healthier nation. So, the message of remembering that we’re all human and we all have purpose in life and cherishing life, we need to encourage not only the young men but the young women,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Petra’s Co-Director, Troy Mendonca shared that he was always elated that the tournament could be used as a platform for such a positive campaign, especially with the recent surge of violence in the nation’s schools.
“But I think now, with what we’ve seen over the past couple of months and maybe year, I think we should broaden it to stop violence in the whole. I’m happy that the Petra Organisation tournament is able to provide a platform for the Ministry to join with to eradicate a social ill that we’re faced with, especially at the school level,” Mendonca stated.
Meanwhile, Adolescent Health Coordinator Cilandell Glen explained the hands-on approach the Ministry would take during the course of the tournament to bring awareness to players and their peers.
“For this year’s competition, the Adolescent Health Unit will be setting up satellite tables at the games to disseminate information on sexual reproductive health, substance abuse and of course, gender-based violence. The reason why we’re looking at the first two is ‘cause these issues also contribute significantly to the violence among young people,” Glen disclosed.
Action in the eighth Milo Schools’ football tournament will begin on Saturday, February 15, when President’s College will take on Queenstown Secondary, the first encounter of 2020. Later on, Marian Academy will lock horns with St Joseph High while East Ruimveldt go head to head with St Stanislaus College. (Jemima Holmes)