WHEN the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs (MSYA) created the MPowerTT programme its mission was to focus on the empowerment and mentorship of young men 16-29 years old.
The programme which was launched in January had to be postponed due to the covid19 pandemic and the physical distancing guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health. It resumed on July13 in St James and will continue in communities across TT.
MPowerTT seeks to highlight positive male figures and provide a platform for them to share their stories, offer advice and guidance, and serve as mentors for young men across TT, said a media release. It includes weekly lounge talks and block discussions on topics critical to young men.
Since its resumed, the programme has been reformatted in keeping with the safety guidelines for public gatherings of no more than 25 people. The first event was an MZone held at the St James Youth Facility which focused on sex education and was live streamed. The upcoming MZones will also be streamed live on Facebook via the MPowerTT page, @MPowerTT at 5.30 pm, the release said.
The ministry said it has partnered with Los Gents TT, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that recognises the need for and places emphasis on empowering the male population. It said it has also received support and participation from other stakeholder agencies and ministries, including the Ministry of Health.
“The ministry has also partnered with dynamic and influential men to serve as masters and male empowerment ambassadors. Masters are required to share their stories, make presentations and lead discussions on various topics that impact the development of young men. The ambassadors rally the participation of the male youth population and encourage positive male empowerment nationally,” the release said.
The first MZone got off in Maloney in February with the topic I am Man, during which the societal expectations of a man were discussed. Other sessions were held in Tobago, Tacarigua and San Fernando.
The ministry is encouraging young men to participate in all MZones via the Live Stream on Facebook @MPowerTT
The sessions will continue on the following dates:
July 23, Tobago – Challenging toxic masculinity
July 30, Arima – Crime and gang violence
August 6, Laventille – Education, employment and entrepreneurship
August 13, Chaguanas – Creating a culture of respect
August 20, Pt Fortin – Grooming, hygiene and personal care
August 27, Barataria – Open session