Last weekend, we hosted the 1st Lagos South Battalion Council Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) Course and the stories and testimonials are so soothing that I’m again convinced on my reasons for serving and volunteering with the Boys Brigade Nigeria.
For context, the Lagos South Battalion Council is one of the biggest Battalion councils in Lagos with 31 registered companies and about 10 prospective companies. Geographically, it shares boundary with Lagos Battalion and Epe Battalion spanning from Obalende through Okegun.
This consist of a very dynamic demography and extremely mixed economic class… from the extremely affluent class of Ikoyi/VI/Lekki to the middle and lower income class across the other surbubs
As officers, captains, trainers & volunteers, we are charged with providing opportunities for the boy-child and young people to learn, grow and discover in a safe, fun and caring environment which is rooted in the Christian faith!
The first task is how you can create a program/curriculum that suits all the boys regardless of their backgrounds etc.
The course, which almost didn’t hold due to paucity of funds and was graciously funded and provisioned for by God through last minute dials was an extreme success not just in attendance but because of this few lessons learnt.
- Boys, in fact humans, are all the same at our basest regardless of the societal classifications. It was very interesting to see “Ajebo kids” who have lived all their lives in their parents mansions and vacation houses across the globe interact and bond with their contemporaries from a very much lower class. The culture shocks, the fast repositioning of mind, the friendships made over football matches and team tasks etc
- I can remember vividly how a boy who according to the parents hasn’t gone to anywhere alone struggled to catch up with his mates but was graciously assisted by his peers to garner some confidence and join them for their charades. The tears that turned into big smile when he touched Eba and Egusi soup for the first time… lol!
It dawned on me that The Boys Brigade and how that camp has made a lifelong change in his life! He’s learnt a great social skill set — adapting anywhere, everywhere.
Another story is a Muslim kid that was brought to the camp by the mother to be trained according to the pillars and aims of the Boys Brigade. The confidence in the tone of the mother as she informed me that she’s found The BB fascinating and won’t allow her kid to lose out on becoming an impactful, disciplined and obedient leader.
After she left, I felt a bigger burden. The fact that the future of a Boy and the society at large is greatly determined by who and what they interact with at their tender ages. That Boy’s testimony after the first night is how he was able to embrace The Boys Brigade… understand the ropes, and develop further interest in learning about the Christian faith..
It was very nostalgic because that exactly was my story.
Lastly, any Boy can become anything with the right motivation!
Being rich and isolating yourself in your high mansions of Ikoyi won’t excuse your children from being badly behaved neither will deciding to be crude or staying poor… lol!
No kid is born a bully or any of the other vices, they only grow into them when you enable them!
You have to create an environment where your kids will interact, learn, grow and get the right motivation to become better people!
The work of the Boys Brigade, being the first boy-child focused organization, since 1883 cannot be overstated!
It’s important for every boy-child to be mentored and BB provides that platform. So find a nearby company, enroll your kids and together let’s build a future society filled with responsible leaders, fathers, brothers, and male citizens!