International Men's Day in
International Men’s Day was inaugurated in Botswana in 2011 by coordinator Geneuvieve Twala. One of the International Men’s Day themes promoted was to help foster youth to unlock their creative identities to allow them to share their gifts with peers, family and the community, and to be seen and heard for who they and not how they are perceived. The primary event was a Gala dinner titled "One moment for Change" to highlight men’s potential and the increasing capabilities of men as innovators of society. The dinner was held to raise funds to cover six months music tuition fees for a group of 20 children from the SOS Children’s Village whom IMD embassadors have adopted as part of a mentoring programme for children. Standard Chartered Bank sponsored the dinner, which included a range of iconic speakers who shared their experience and insights with the audience. Standard Chartered Bank Acting CEO Mr Michael Wiegand opened the event by sharing best practices that Standard Chartered Bank uses to address legitimate issues faced by male employees, including the fact that Standard Chartered Bank is the first company in Botswana to offer paternity leave which, he stated, made their male employees feel valued and that they were working for a 21st century organization. Mr Tebogo Sebego, Senior Partner at Sebego & Sharma Attorneys and former chairperson of the Law Society of Botswana gave a keynote speech where he emphasized how the child protection laws should be improved, how the society play a role in creating a safe environment for the future generation of men. Mrs Tjipo Mothobi, Director, GBC Health South Africa gave an address on business collective effort. The District Commissioner in his closing remarks made an announcement that by end of December he was convening a meeting with men in the City where they will engage in dialogue on how they can collectively address the issues and challenges men and boys face. The inaugural event was a success, with radio stations subsequently airing programmes that call for debate on men's issues since IMD. All the businesses and stakeholders involved gave a commitment to be part and parcel of the next IMD and we are already working on the strategy for 2012.