Documentary will show how men can make a difference
Bermuda’s men are being called to duty by school counsellor Anthony Peets, who is recruiting male mentors to spend time each week with the Island’s boys.
A men-only documentary is on offer at 6.30pm in the Bermuda Institute tonight, to start a no-charge, no-cost volunteer programme called MIA, or Men in Action.
Explaining his inspiration to form the group, Mr Peets said: “This Island is in a tail spin of violence, homes without proper families and children without any positive male influence. “Our boys are in trouble, and I want guys to make a commitment to start reaching out to our children.”
The acronym MIA, he said, also refers to a problem many men have when it comes to taking part in the lives of children: missing in action. Saying he is currently the only male counsellor in Bermuda’s primary school system, Mr Peets said he is called upon weekly to help troubled families mainly boys who are causing concern for their mothers.
“Yes, the data shows that men are incarcerated more than women, they are in the courts more. They make up a larger proportion of students who are referred for discipline. Many do have difficulty in school as they are not boy-friendly.”
Whether it is reading with schoolchildren, supervising playgrounds or talking to youth groups, Mr Peets said he wants volunteers to make a weekly commitment.
“There will be a vetting process, and some training involved,” he added, saying he and his associates would give coaching and maintain “an ongoing dialogue” with volunteers.
“This is something we can do ourselves. No overseas experts are needed for this one.”
Tonight’s two-hour documentary will show men how they can make a difference in boys’ lives, he said. Calling schools “feminised”, Mr Peets said: “We need a balance. We need men to be there, to contribute in the way that only men can.”