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Boy child foundation Beacon of Hope

31 Jan 2024

For Ms Kopano Christmas, the word ‘Christmas’ is more than just a holiday. 

It represents hope, joy, and new beginnings. 

This is the very essence of the Boy Child Foundation, which she founded to give boys the opportunity to start a new life and find a path to a brighter future. 

The name is a constant reminder of the light that the foundation can bring to the lives of those it serves and is a symbol of the possibilities that lie ahead for each boy who is given the chance to learn and grow. 

In response to the rising number of suicides and gender-based violence (GBV) among men, the new foundation has been established to help build a generation of boys who are emotionally intelligent and are able to express themselves. 

This initiative aims to break the cycle of emotional suppression, which has been linked to mental health issues and violent behaviour. 

“It is a safe space for young boys to meet, share their experiences, and address the issues and challenges they face,” said Ms Christmas, whose first name ‘Kopano’ also connects well with the purpose of the Foundation. 

She said the Foundation provides a platform for boys to connect with one another and find support in a world that can often be overwhelming and isolating. 

“It is a place where boys can feel heard and understood, and where they can work towards healing and growth. The Foundation believes that through connection and support, boys can be empowered to thrive and achieve their full potential,” she added. 

Truly, Ms Christmas has dedicated her life to bringing hope and unity to the next generation. From a young age, she was known as someone who could bring people together and build bridges. 

Her name, ‘Kopano’, was a reflection of the impact she would have on the world. 

Little did she know that one day she would start a Foundation that would empower and inspire countless young boys to achieve their full potential. 

It was her destiny to make a difference, and she is doing just that. 

Ms Christmas believes that every boy is like a Christmas gift, full of potential and waiting to be unwrapped. 

“The Boy Child Foundation is the wrapping paper, providing the support and resources needed to help each boy realise his potential,” said Ms Christmas. 

The Foundation’s mission is to give every boy a gift of a brighter future, one where they can be healthy, happy, and successful through education, mentorship, and community support, the foundation helps boys to become the best version of themselves. 

Ms Christmas has a personal mission to prevent young people to end up in prisons and she believes that by investing in young people’s development at grassroots level, they can be given the tools and opportunities they need to avoid falling into a life of crime. 

“The Foundation provides a natural environment where young people can share experiences and challenges, as well as gaining valuable life skills and the Foundation will become a place of hope for the community where young people can learn, grow, and develop into responsible adults,” she said. 

Through her dedication and vision, Ms Christmas is creating a space where boys can find a sense of belonging, purpose, and self-worth. 

“The Boy Child Foundation is not just a foundation, it’s a place where boys or young people can find their way,” said Ms Christmas, who also doubles as a general nurse at the Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital. 

Ms Christmas said the future looks bleak for these young boys who are often broken by their circumstances. 

“If we do not intervene, we risk creating a generation of soldiers and police officers who have a skewed sense of justice and tendency to resort to violence,” she added. 

She explained that it is crucial to provide these boys with opportunities for healing, education, and skills development, so that they can become positive members of the society and contribute to a brighter future, otherwise the cycle of violence and despair will continue. 

Ms Christmas indicated that culture has perpetuated certain injustices, which have been passed down from generation to generation. 

“Parents tend to raise their children using the same parenting methods that were used on them, without questioning the effectiveness or the impact of those methods,” she said. “As a result, children of today are asking more questions and challenging the status quo. They are demanding a different approach to parenting and education, one that is more aligned with their needs and the challenges of the modern world.” 

Today’s parents, she said, needed to seek therapy to break the cycle of generational trauma, adding that children born after the 80s are faced with different challenges than previous generations and as such their needs are different. 

Ms Christmas said parents may need help in understanding and addressing these unique challenges and therapy can help parents learn new ways of parenting that are more suited to the modern world, and that can help their children to thrive. 

“By breaking the cycle of trauma, we can create a healthier and happy future,” Ms Christmas said. 

Many parents today are facing the challenge of raising their children as single parents, and they may not have the tools or knowledge to do so in a healthy and productive way. 

Therefore, she said, it was important for these parents to heal their own emotional wounds, so that they could raise their children with love and understanding. 

“If they do not address their own trauma, they risk passing it on to their children, causing further harm and by investing in their own healing, they can create a better future for themselves and their children,” Ms Christmas added. 

She acknowledged that many women have been through a lot of pain and trauma in their lives, adding that they may be carrying weights of these experiences with them, and it could be difficult for them to raise their sons in a healthy and supportive way. 

“The Foundation aims to help women heal from their past, so that they can create a better future for their sons. The Foundation believes that it takes a village to raise a child, and that healthy, supportive relationships are key to raising a boy who is happy and well adjusted,” she said. 

Ms Christmas explained that the Boy Child Foundation has secured a small space at a building next to the Cresta Thapama, where they provide support and counselling to boys in need. 

In the future, she added, they hope to expand their services to include a more permanent facility with all the necessary resources. 

“For now the space is to start a place where boys can feel safe and begin to heal. It is a stepping stone to towards creating a brighter future for the next generation,” she added. 

Through its mission of empowering young boys to heal and thrive, the Boy Child Foundation is helping to create a generation of young men who are confident, healthy, and capable of making a positive impact on the world. 

By providing a safe space for boys to meet and share experiences, the Foundation is breaking the cycle of trauma and pain that can often be passed down from one generation to the next. 

It is this commitment to healing and growth that makes the Boy Child Foundation such a powerful force for change. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Thamani Shabani

Location : Francistown

Event : Interview

Date : 31 Jan 2024