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18 October, 2012

BOTSWANA'S LAUNCH OF LITERARY INITIATIVE IN ITS LOCAL SCHOOLS CREATES HISTORIC MILESTONE FOR 2012 INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY



CONTACT:

BOTSWANA
Geneuvive Twala 
Botswana Coordinator – 2012 International Men’s Day 
Telephone: 011 267 360 1577
E-Mail: Geneuvive.Twala@sc.com

UNITED STATES
Diane A. Sears
United States Coordinator - 2012 International Men's Day
Telephone:  1 267 581 3963
E-Mail:  insearchoffatherhood@gmail.com


GABORONE, BOTSWANA (AFRICA) – 18 October 2012 Another historic milestone will be created for the nation of Botswana and International Men’s Day (www.international-mens-day.com) on Monday, 19 November 2012 with the launch of a Literary Initiative in its local schools which will take the form of a writing contest. The Literary Initiative is the brainchild of Geneuvive Twala, a Thought Leader, humanitarian, and the Botswana 2012 International Men’s Day Coordinator. Winners of the Literary Initiative’s writing contest will have their work published in IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®, a quarterly international Fatherhood and Men’s Issues Journal which is published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the fifth largest metropolitan area in the United States and that nation’s fourth largest media market. The Managing Editor of IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®, Diane A. Sears, is also the United States Coordinator for 2012 International Mens Day.

News of the Literary Initiative comes on the heels of Ms. Twala’s announcement of the launching of the “Men of Tomorrow: Rites of Passage” Mentoring Program which will also occur on 2012 International Men’s Day in Botswana. The “Men of Tomorrow: Rites of Passage” Mentoring Program was created and launched in the United States on 2011 International Men’s Day by the New Deliverance Evangelistic Church (www.ndec.net) in Richmond, Virginia. The mentoring program’s exportation from the United States to Botswana is the result of a collaboration between Ms. Twala and Mrs. Odetta Wright, the Virginia (USA) Regional Coordinator for 2012 International Men’s Day.

I am extending an invitation to local schools in Botswana as well as the boys and young men who will be enrolled in the ‘Men of Tomorrow: Rites of Passage’ Mentoring program that is also being launched on International Men’s Day to participate in a literary initiative which is a writing contest. The writing contest will have a number of topics that contestants can choose from. Each contestant will select one of the topics and write a poem or essay about it. All poems and essays will be reviewed by a panel and three of the best poems and essays will be selected from each school. The poems and essays selected from each school will be featured in the Children’s Corner section of IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®. The Literary Initiative will help us reach out to as many young men as possible in Botswana. This is a big step for our youth because Botswana, as a country, does not have many accomplished writers. This initiative has the potential to create a generation of accomplished writers. It also gives our youth a chance to participate in a global social course that can make a difference in their lives – socially, emotionally, and intellectually. We are so in need of change makers. For Botswana, International Men’s Day is the promise of a new day,” Ms. Twala remarked.

It is an honor to have an opportunity to collaborate with Ms. Twala on the Literary Initiative which is being launched in Botswana on 2012 International Men’s Day. I am looking forward to publishing the winning essays and poems composed by the children of Botswana in Children’s Corner in future issues of IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®. Children growing up in the Millennium are the most profound thinkers and keenly intuitive individuals the world has seen. Through the Literary Initiative, we will have an pportunity to look at the world – our global village – through the eyes of our children – our future – our bridge to the future. We will learn what makes their hearts sing and their souls dance. We will learn how they feel about important issues and how to resolve them. Ms. Twala is making a powerful difference in the lives of the children of Botswana and when I think about their future and the future of our global village, I am joyful,” commented Diane A. Sears, the Managing Editor of IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD® and the United States Coordinator for 2012 International Men’s Day.  

Over 60 nations around the world will observe 2012 International Men’s Day on Monday, 19 November 2012 under the theme “Helping Men And Boys Live Longer, Happier, Healthier Lives.” International Men’s Day was founded in 1999 by Jerome Teelucksingh, Ph.D., a Thought Leader on Gender Issues; faculty member in the History Department at the University of West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago; author; and Chairman of the International Men’s Day  Coordination Committee, a global think tank. It is an annual observance which resonates with Men and Woman and celebrates and honors the selfless sacrifices that Men make every day to our families, communities, and our global village. International Men’s Day shares a 48-hour partnership with Universal Children’s Day which is celebrated on 20 November of each year and is endorsed by the United Nations.

2012 International Men’s Day is moving Men, Woman, institutions, and organizations throughout our global village to focus on helping Men and Boys live longer, happier, and healthier lives by addressing the following key challenges that Men and Boys struggle with: 

1. IMPROVING MEN’S LIFE EXPECTANCY:  From the moment a boy is born he can expect to live a shorter life than his female counterparts in all but four countries on the planet. There is also a huge gap in life expectancy between rich and poor countries with men in Mozambique reaching an average age of 38 while in Iceland, Israel and Switzerland men live twice as long until the age of 80. There are also huge gaps in life expectancy within countries, with men born in the poorest parts of the United Kingdom, for example, dying 10 years sooner than their fellow countrymen in the wealthiest parts of the capital city. Boys are not genetically programmed to die young so our first challenge this International Men’s Day is to ask countries taking part to consider how we can help all men and boys live longer, happier, healthier lives – no matter how poor they are and no matter what country they are born in.

2. HELPING MEN GET HELP:  Every year poor mental health drives over three quarters of a million people to commit suicide – and around two thirds of them are males. Men and boys all over the world can find it more difficult to access help for mental and emotional health problems and most prison populations include a significant number of men with mental health issues. This International Men’s Day we are asking participating countries to consider how we can help more men and boys get the help and support they need and to take action on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of men who will take their own lives this year.

3. IMPROVING BOYS’ EDUCATION:  Poor education is linked to poor health outcomes later in life, so improving boys’ education will also help men and boys live longer, happier, healthier lives. This International Men’s Day we are asking people to explore why boys in richer countries are underperforming girls and also less likely to be in education, and why tens of millions of boys in poorer countries are still not completing a primary education. How can we address truancy and poor literacy rates which leave boys prone to adult unemployment, substance abuse, obesity, depression, and poverty? What action can we take to focus on boys’ education in a way that closes the gap between girls and boys, addresses the gaps between rich boys and poor boys, and helps us to improve the long-term health and well being of all men and boys?

4. TACKLING TOLERANCE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST MEN AND BOYS:  Violence has a major impact on men’s health all over the world. Every year over half a million people die from violence and 83% of them are men and boys (http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/ projections/en/index.html). The same proportion of the global burden of disease (ill health, disability or early death) from violence is borne by boys and men. Yet while there are now a number of deserved global campaigns to tackle violence against women and girls, there are no such campaigns to help men and boys. Why are we so tolerant of violence and abuse against boys and men and why do we still tolerate a world where we send boys and young men to fight wars on behalf of the adults in power? This International Men’s Day we are asking for actions we can take to help men and boys live in a less violent world and challenge our collective global tolerance of violence against men and boys.

5. PROMOTING FATHERS AND MALE ROLE MODELS:  Fathers and male role models play a vital role in helping boys make a healthy, happy and positive transition from boyhood to manhood. How can we give boys a right to family life that gives them an equal opportunity to know and experience both their father and mother and ensure that their role as a future father is equal to girls’ role as future mothers? Giving boys a range of positive life choices in terms of family, work, and leisure can help us reduce the number of boys whose choices are limited and end up poor, illiterate, unemployed, homeless, imprisoned, and isolated. This International Men’s Day we are asking what actions we can take to give all boys access to a variety of male role models and ensure their country’s laws and practices give them an equal right to fatherhood, with all the support they need to be the best fathers they can be.

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