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Join for Joy changes the future of boys through empowerment

Did you know that research shows that empowered boys perform better in school?

Often when people speak about empowerment, they talk about girls and the road to gender equality. However, boys and girls each have their own unique challenges in life and empowerment for boys is definitely just as important! This is why Join for Joy is strongly committed to the empowerment of both boys and girls.

The trainers in the Join for Joy program state that when boys do not go or cannot go to school, they often end up on the streets. They try to make some money by taking up poorly paid, though jobs. This work environment exposes them to risks of drug and alcohol abuse, violence and theft. This has also to do with dominant social norms. Boys often learn from a young age that being “a real man” means to be strong and aggressive and solve problems with violence. As a result, boys often suppress their emotions. This is why, in our Sports and Play Program, teachers support and invite boys to express themselves nonviolently. In addition, teachers discuss the importance of education in a playful way, so that the boys are encouraged  to look at their future and to discover their full potential.

Join for Joy has developed games in which children learn to talk about their emotions, become aware of their behaviour and develop resilience. For example, the “Bad Habit Run” in which both ends of the field represent a “healthy zone”. The children come up with bad habits, and when the teacher yells a bad habit such as “smoking”, all children try to run past the tagger and try to get to the other “healthy” side of the field. After the game, the teacher discusses the dangers of these bad habits with the children. This way, boys learn about the dangers of certain bad habits before they come into contact with them.

Playful education can change the future of a boy!