Enlightened Boys, a corollary program to Empowered Girls, was created by Chocolate University in 2016.
This after-school program brings boys together in commonality to learn to respect themselves and others, set and achieve goals for the future, and become positive role models in their school and village. The spirit of Kujengana, a Swahili word meaning “to build each other up,” guides the approach to programming and meeting facilitation. The participating boys receive knowledge and tools to help channel their individual power to achieve their highest potential by mindfully bringing their bodies, their minds, and their emotions into synergy.
The Enlightened Boys Club was founded at Mababu Primary School by Askinosie Chocolate company as a compliment to the successful Empowered Girls Club in the same schools. We manage the clubs with a team approach – our onsite Askinosie Field Representative facilitates these clubs in cooperation with volunteer teachers from the school administration and faculty. The program is directed by The Askinosie Foundation, with guidance including specific curriculum topics and teaching approach from Kellen and Daudi Msseemmaa and Central Cocoa Fermentary member farmers.
The Askinosie Foundation sponsors two Enlightened Boys Clubs in the Kyela district of southwestern Tanzania, where Askinosie Chocolate sources some of our cocoa beans:
Each club has 150–200 active students registered. Enlightened Boys meet once per week while school is in session to accomplish the following objectives:
- To empower boys with positive self-awareness and self-esteem.
- To help boys recognize the equal value of both boys and girls and to help boys respect the interaction between boys and girls in their personal lives.
- To teach boys the power of vision – to set goals in life, stay focused and have a future.
- To help boys distinguish the positive attributes of their traditions and culture. Embracing culture traditions helps to establish feelings of being rooted, and create a stronger sense of identity and belonging.
- To help boys to know their rights and what to do/where to go when their rights are violated.
- To prevent aggressive behavior and cruelty to other children, girls and women.
- To share knowledge about reproductive health among boys and girls and to share responsibility for the benefit of the community.
- To reduce or eliminate student pregnancies, prevent unsabortions and abortion deaths, and reduce childhood marriages.