U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires David Young During the Virtual Graduation Ceremony for the USAID STOP GBV Activity’s Coaching Boys into Men Program

U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires David Young
Virtual Graduation Ceremony for the
USAID STOP GBV Activity’s Coaching Boys into Men Program
October 5, 2020
(as prepared for delivery)

Honorable Emmanuel Mulenga, Minister of Youth, Sport, and Child Development,
Joseph Kapambwe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth, Sport, and Child Development Coaching Boys Into Men Coaches and Graduates
Ladies and gentlemen
All other protocols observed

First of all, congratulations to the over 760 male coaches and 57,000 young men for completing the U.S. Agency for International Development’s STOP GBV Coaching Boys into Men (CBIM) program. Violence against girls and women remains one of the most widespread, persistent human-rights violations in our world today. Whether it is intimate-partner violence, sexual violence, harassment, trafficking, or child marriage, gender-based violence (GBV) limits the survivor’s life in reaching its full potential.

The physical and psychological impacts of GBV are devastating, leading to poor educational and economic outcomes, driving new HIV infections, and perpetuating the cycle of poverty. In Zambia, GBV continues to be a formidable barrier to development and economic prosperity. The 2014 Violence Against Children in Zambia Survey reported that one in three females have experienced physical or sexual violence before the age of 18. Furthermore, the 2018 Demographic and Health Survey reported that 47 percent of Zambian women have experienced physical, sexual, and/or emotional violence from their current or most recent partner.

Since 2005, the United States has partnered with the government and people of Zambia to prevent GBV in families and communities. Together, we have increased support for gender equality, strengthened GBV-response services, and supported the laws and policies that ensure protection for survivors and justice for perpetrators.

Through the CBIM program, we have established a network of male leaders who will continue to challenge gender norms in their own communities. Since June 2020, over 57,000 boys have joined the program. These young men have graduated from the program and are now certified CBIM Mentors. In this role, they will work with teachers and school clubs to promote healthy relationships and end sexual violence. The 763 newly training coaches will continue to mentor groups of young men, using soccer, or football, as a platform for delivering CBIM.

I would like to recognize the ministries of Health, General Education, Gender, and Youth, Sport and Child Development for their enthusiastic support and partnership for the CBIM program. We would not have succeeded without you. Your partnership has been instrumental in identifying and engaging athletic coaches, coordinating training sessions, and making sports training venues and grounds available for program activities.

As we work together through the CBIM program, we encourage the Ministry of General Education and Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Child Development to consider integrating the curriculum into traditional teacher and coach training programs. We also urge you to encourage the Football Association of Zambia, the National Sports Council, and other community sports academies to build program support within their networks.

I would like to close by offering my warmest congratulations to today’s graduates. We are proud of you for your commitment to non-violence and for helping to lead Zambia’s fight against gender-based violence. I leave you with a quote and challenge laid down by former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon who said, “I call on men and boys everywhere to join us. Break the silence. Violence against women and girls will not be eradicated until all of us—men and boys—refuse to tolerate it.”

Thank you. Zikomo kambwili.