Thirteen boys on Nevis were applauded and awarded for their display of good behaviour and character with the Boy of Excellence Award  by the Department of Gender Affairs in the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs, in a show of support for the budding young men in celebration of International Day of the Boy Child, May 16, 2022.

Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister in the ministry, said the international day set aside for boys was meaningful hence the reason for honouring the boys who were selected by the school principals.

“Only a few years ago they introduced [International] Day of the Boy Child and that is why we think it’s very significant that we do something special for the boys…

“On behalf of the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs, I want to present this award to you for exemplifying what we want to see as good character, good behaviour in a boy growing up to be a young man. Continue to be that special person,” she said while presenting awards on May 23, 2022.

The awardees are Cyprian David of St. Thomas’ Primary School; Ryan Taylor of Charlestown Primary School; Leston Hicks of St. James’ Primary School; J’sean Pemberton of Violet O. Jeffers Nicholls Primary School; Ziondre Dore of Joycelyn Liburd Primary School; Ajari Cornelius of Ivor Walters Primary School; Yudell Wisdom of Gingerland Secondary School; Nevroy Willock-Manners of Charlestown Secondary School; Jahreem Doras of Maude Crosse Primary School; Kariffe Davis of Nevis Academy; Joshua Santos of Elizabeth Pemberton Primary School; Thierry Trotman of Nevis International Secondary School; and William Guy III of Montessori Academy.

The Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Health and Gender Affairs, Minister of Education, and Area Representative for St. John’s Parish, presented the awards to the students at the Nevis International Secondary School and Elizabeth Pemberton Primary School.

Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health and Gender Affairs, accompanied by Ms. Latoya Jeffers presented the awards at the St. James’ Primary School and the Violet O. Jeffers Nicholls Primary School.

Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Youth and Area Representative for the St. Georges’ Parish, presented the awards at the Joycelyn Liburd Primary School and the Gingerland Secondary School.

Hon. Spencer Brand, Area Representative for the St. Paul’s Parish, accompanied by Ms. Latoya Jeffers, Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs, presented the awards at the Charlestown Secondary School and Maude Crosse Preparatory School.

Ms. Shelisa Martin Clarke, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs, presented at the Montessori Academy.

Mr. Mario Phillip, Gender Officer in the Department of Gender Affairs, presented the awards at the Charlestown Primary School, Ivor Walters Primary School, St. Thomas’ Primary School and Nevis Academy.

According to Mr. Phillip, when he delivered an address on behalf of Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, in observance of International Day of the Boy Child on May 16, 2022,  draws attention to the challenges of boys, their achievements and sheds light on the special needs that should be met for their holistic development.

“Boys face their challenges. They lag behind girls in academic pursuits in the primary and secondary levels, and are more likely to not finish their high school education. Boys are also more likely to participate in deviant and criminal behaviour than girls are. This is evidence enough, that there is a need for us as a society, to extend greater efforts to save our boys.

“While we oftentimes give special shelter, care and attention to our girls, too often I see the boy child left to fend for himself. The need for parenting, guidance and mentorship is not something determined by sex. No, all children have the need for them. As much as boys are often regarded as rough and tough – as is to be expected – they are also capable of virtues of compassion, consideration and care,” he explained.

Mr. Phillip also noted that the Department of Gender Affairs on St. Kitts and on Nevis decided on the theme for the day as “Day of the Boy Child – “Boys Under Construction: Building Positive Attitudes in our Boys.”

He stated that no child is born bad or good, but each child with the right time, attention, and loving instruction could attain the highest values and virtues.

“It is up to us, you and me, to take time out to direct and shape our boys into what we want them to be by talking with them, sharing our experiences of how we overcame challenges growing up, and how we planned for the future we are now living. Let our boys know that they don’t have to grow up alone. Let them feel that they have the great support of a society that loves them, cares for them and expects much from them.

“The Department of Gender Affairs has decided to present one boy from each school on the island of Nevis, the Boy of Excellence Award. It is our hope that the awardees will be encouraged and each boy will be stirred to strive for excellence,” he said.

By srtwa

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