The launch will coincide with YWCA's 50th anniversary celebrations on November 30, 2012 in Gaborone. Speaking in an interview yesterday, John said they have realised that although men and boys may be perceived to be strong and resilient, some are internally broken and desperately need help.
YMCA will address social issues that specifically concern men and boys while YWCA caters solely for women and girls. She said that a lot of advocacy has benefitted women and young girls, leaving out the boy child. She noted that they have realised that social ills cannot be resolved by leaving out boy children as they form part of society.
"Young boys and men will therefore have a platform where they can meet, open up and discuss their issues without any intimidation. At this association, just like at the YWCA, Christian principles will be used as guidelines to help the young boys and men to build their lives," she said.
John said during the early stages, they will assist the YMCA with registration procedures, drawing up a constitution and fund raising, among other things. She said that they want the YMCA to eventually be independent from the YWCA, own its land and have its own staff.
She said the YWCA was formed in 1962 through volunteerism and fund raising; the same criteria will be employed to prop up YMCA, as no money has been set aside for the project.
John reiterated that since its inception, the YWCA has succeeded in offering health and education interventions to women and young girls as the most vulnerable groups in society. The association prides itself mostly on having helped many teenage girls continue their studies after pregnancy. Pregnant teenagers receive counselling and help with baby care while they continue with their studies. Also, the association empowers young women on leadership and management skills, human rights, peace and advocacy. It further empowers them on issues of gender equality and entrepreneurship, among many other things. The association has six regions - Kanye, Gaborone, Mahalapye, Francistown and Maun.