Feb 2024 1st edition

An online platform to empower men

Written by: More Matshediso



Because gender-based violence (GBV) is an issue that not only affect women but society as a whole, it is important for men to step up and help find against it and other social ills facing the country.

After realising that men do not have platforms through which they can be vulnerable and exp/sites/default/files/images_2024_02_01/Ditupa%20Fothane.jpegress their feelings and some of the challenges they face, a group of six men who are mental health professionals and advocates came together to establish a men-only non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Brother’s Keeper SA.

“Our shared commitment is to promote positive change and build stronger communities. We work tirelessly to provide guidance, support, and resources to men in need. We believe that by building a space where men can be vulnerable and honest, we can help them to better understand themselves and their experiences, and to build stronger and more resilient lives,” explained the organisation’s director and contributor Ditupa Fothane.

Together with his team members including Sibusiso Vilakazi, Sibusiso Mkhwanazi, Simon Ratlala, Sabelo Ntshalitshali and Sikhumbuzo Gabela, were inspired to start the NGO because they realised that the lack of platforms available for men to express their life challenges may be one of the reasons why some of them resort to suicide, violence and abuse, because they are increasingly losing their voice in society.

“The organisation was established in 2020 but only registered as an NGO in 2023. It serves as a support network for men by hosting virtual support sessions fortnightly on Thursdays.

“It also provides participants with networking opportunities. During the sessions, we cover various topics including social and emotional support, mental health, family issues, career development, financial health and physical health and fitness, among others,” Futhane explained.

Other services enjoyed by men participating in the sessions include mentorship programmes and professional counselling services.

He added that Brother’s Keeper SA also observes local and international campaigns, and it continues to conscientises men about the dire plight faced by women as a result of gender-based violence and femicide.

“The ultimate aim of the NGO is to create a community of men who will be responsible, caring and able to be receptive to help and support. Men who participate in our sessions learn more about being responsible members of their communities, families and workplaces and how to be responsive to the needs of their communities,” Futhane said.

He said any man from anywhere in the country can participate and become a member of the NGO because the sessions are held virtually.

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For more information, visit Brother’s Keeper SA, website: www.brotherskeepersa.com or Call: 071 174 7739 / 083 704 7442 or email: info@brotherskeepersa.com

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