November 7, 2018

Man-Making Stories from Around the World-1

Because I have been working and writing in this field for many years, I have the benefit of a unique perspective on the world of man-making. Many of you, the subscribers and readers of this blog, think of me when you come across a related story and you send them along. Thanks! Taken together, the ever-growing collection gives me this very positive feeling because it means men, all around the world, are showing up for boys in many different and creative ways. It's really a force for optimism in my life.

While I have shared many of these kinds of story ideas with you in the blog over the years, I get many more suggestions than I'm able to research and turn into blog posts. With this post I'm trying something new. Going forward, I'll be occasionally sharing a short list of what has been showing up in my inbox. This listing will be simple, unfiltered reporting, and I'll leave the vetting up to you.

Thanks again for your contributions and please keep them coming. Thanks even more for caring about all our young guys.

Here's a few stories to get started. I hope you enjoy these offerings as I do.

The OK Program in Little Rock, Arkansas is described in this article. It brings together black police officers and pastors to train black men in the community to become mentors to young boys. The program puts these mentors in schools on a regular basis. One of the goals of The O.K. Program described in the article is to provide adult male mentors who can, ". . . cultivate an environment at these schools to where these kids can understand the importance of learning, getting an education, and critical thinking." There is a great video with the story, and I really like the special "O.K." handshake.

". . . I love you, man."

There is a beautiful line from Little Rock police Sgt. Willie Davis, where describing how he tells these often fatherless boys, ". . . I love you, man. I'm not your dad, but I'm an advocate, so we're going to take care of you and make it right." More information on The O.K. Program website, a link from the City of Little Rock website!

Dads for a Day is a faith-based program founded by Curtis Ostrander about two years ago. Its goal is to help boys in middle and high school navigate their way through the teen years to adulthood. In this article in The Villages Daily Sun, it describes how the boys usually meet a few hours on a regular basis with their Dad for a Day mentors. Sometimes visits are longer and include fishing trips, shooting hoops, disc golf and dozens of other ways the men and boys can interact. Mr. Ostrander says, “We provide free, one-to-one mentoring programs for boys in homes without fathers . . ..” In his research Mr. Ostrander learned, ". . . in the United States, 33 percent of children live without their father in the home . . .". The article is rightly titled, "Changing the future one teen at a time."

This room smells
like a French whorehouse!

Chicago Times Article about Shaving offers this fun opinion piece in which a man reminisces and worries that our young men aren't learning about the art of shaving. I love this article because of the prominent Rite of Passage that comes with a young man's fist shave. Here's a previous Man-Making Blog post on the topic of a boy's first shave. It stirs some familiar memories when the author quotes his mom's saying, “This room smells like a French whorehouse!” He says, "I guess I knew what she meant. Too much Old Spice."

Future Kings is a story from the township of Soweto (Johannesburg), South Africa. There, a man named Rams Mabote, working through his foundation, aims to create a platform where young men in the impoverished Soweto townships can ". . . have hope again that all is not lost." Rams says, "We spoke about everything - from soccer to sin. What was interesting is that I thought I was mentoring these boys, but what happened is that these boys changed me."
"I was mentoring these boys,
but what happened is that
these boys changed me."

According to Rams, ". . . our boys need to hear stories that being poor was not the reason to fail, and that many people who are successful today have struggled in the past. Future Kings is all about is telling boys new narratives."

Let me know if you like this kid of post.
If so, there are a lot more of these stories to come!

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