SWAGAA meets up with our mentors from the Boys for Change and Girl Empowerment club programs to speak with them about the impacts they are seeing after their first few months in the classroom.
Ndumiso Rolens Masuku became one of SWAGAA’s mentors for our Boys for Change program in February 2018. He works with boys from 9 to 14 years old in two different clubs – the Lion Kings and Abafana Besithende.
When Ndumiso first started mentoring with the program he could see how harmful gender norms and stereotypes were already influencing some of his students.
“We’re all about changing lives, I guess, changing the lives and the beliefs we had years ago.”
One of his first club activities called Act Like a Man, Act Like a Woman, immediately delves into the topic of ‘gender’. Here, Ndumiso explains the concepts of gender roles and gender stereotypes while the boys describe what they think it means to ‘act like a man.’
The activity takes the boys through a series of discussion questions, encouraging them to think differently about what it means to be a man or a woman. The questions guide conversations around discrimination and inequality, and how gender norms and stereotypes can both strengthen and spread gender inequality and gender-based violence.
In Ndumiso’s experience, he could see a change wash over the boys he is mentoring. Now, Ndumiso says he is seeing boys and girls working together as a team and confronting gender norms head on.
SWAGAA’s mentorship training opened Ndumiso’s eyes to issues of gender norms and how these destructive ideas are connected to gender-based violence. He is happy to see that these boys have an opportunity to learn about these issues at such a young age, wishing he would’ve had the same opportunity. Of the program, Ndumiso said, “we’re all about changing lives, I guess, changing the lives and the beliefs we had years ago.”
Watch Ndumiso’s interview below to hear more about his experiences as one of SWAGAA’s mentors for the Boys for Change program.