Recently, it became very difficult for boys to grow up in Guyana and not be involved in criminal activities. Almost every day, parents, especially mothers, are struggling to keep their sons alive and away from crime. The challenges facing boys are enormous. They range from drop-outs from high school to joblessness to being involved in crime and be marginalized in society.
Many communities throughout the country have become virtually battlegrounds for criminals and gang warfare by mostly young boys. Some of them may have the best intentions of becoming a decent citizen, but they are having a very difficult time to avoid being involved in crimes and gangs.
Poverty and the lack of a father figure in the lives of some young men have caused many boys to become hopeless and emotionless. They are seething with anger against a system which they believe is stifling them and in which they see no future.
Anger among boys has become a major issue and if not dealt with urgently, will affect all in society. But most parents do not know how to deal with their sons’ anger and frustrations and schools are not equipped to address them either. While education is important, it does not deal with the emotional issues affecting most young boys.
Many poor communities are filled with angry young men and the police are having a difficult time to deal with them because they do not trust the police who they believe are against them. They also believe that the police harass and target them unfairly for simple infractions rather than trying to solve major crimes. On the other hand, society does not offer much support to young boys.
Yes, there are individuals and NGOs that provide some services to them, but society as a whole has not provided a role model for a teenager. And the government is at fault for not holding deadbeat fathers accountable for their children. It has not provided adequate social services to deal with their anger and frustration so they can live up to their obligations and take responsibility for their actions.
Every year a number of boys with brilliant minds have either quit or were kicked out of school. They could have continued their education if the schools had done a better job of meeting their learning needs. Educators and teachers are not very compassionate.
Most schools do not offer relevant education that addresses important themes like love, friendship, family, caring and commitment. Most school curricula do not address issues that deal with anger, crime, bullying or responsibility.
In Guyana, the abuse and sexual exploitation of children and the impact of crime on boys are both chilling and troubling. Statistics have shown that children as young as ten years old are raped and 14-year-old boys are engaged in crime, gun violence, and are in control of gangs.
These are not just a few juvenile boys looking for trouble, insidiously committing evil deeds, but in a telling way, it is the grim reality of what a serious problem boys have become in the country. Something must be done before it gets worse. Decisive action must be taken to save our boys before they turn to crime or redeem those who are already involved in criminal acts.
They must be given the proper tools and education to become productive citizens. The question, is what is society prepared to do about it.
Society involves parents and guardians who must help their sons avoid those things that could prevent their dreams from turning into nightmares.
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