One of the key ways in which abandofbrothers is different is that we offer mentoring for young men in our communities within the context of a contemporary and intensive rite of passage journey.
The experience itself invites young men to draw a line under their adolescence and begin to both consider and move towards becoming the adult man they wish to be. The journey is held and guided by trained older men from the local community. This is vital, as the young men are immersed in a strong field of healthy masculinity and role models. Here they can draw upon a vast pool of life experience and wisdom from committed older men who come from a range of diverse backgrounds.
Our wider intentions are:
- To create community by engaging and training adult men to act as mentors and allies for local young men; thereby bridging the perilous divide that exists between generations of males
- To ensure that all young men have the opportunity to be recognised, acknowledged and welcomed into adulthood through a community sponsored rites of passage experience
- To encourage a search for meaning and purpose in life that’s grounded in appreciation ad respect for nature and humanity, rather than adherence to any particular religion; thus enabling men from different backgrounds, beliefs and faiths to connect in a deeper, more meaningful way
- To facilitate greater undrestanding that “hurt people, hurt people.” We address the hurt carried by men directly, so that they are less likely to hurt others. Cognitive training programmes can be very useful, but all the employability training in the world cannot enable a young man with chronic anger or self esteem issues to find or hold down a job
- To recognise that the “problem” of young men is not just a problem with young men but rather is rooted in the wider societal context of their lives
Men account for 8 out of 10 people cautioned by the police, and nearly 9 out of 10 people found guilty for indictable offences are men. Men are responsible for 97% of burglary and 92% of violence against the person. 95% of the UK prison population is male and over 80% of homeless people in the UK are men. Tragically, men currently commit suicide at a rate of 13 per day in the UK (or 1 every 2 hours), a figure that’s three times higher than it is for women.
Abandofbrothers regards the problem of disaffected young men as an oversight of our culture to address fundamental male issues. The disintegration of traditional family units, weaker bonds between father and son, the decline of community support structures, the proliferation of mass society, rampant consumerism and the lure of drugs and alcohol have resulted in unprecedented challenges for many adolescents and therefore for society.
As any definition of manhood seems ever more vague and even trivial, today’s boys and young men face an increasing struggle trying to grow and mature into adulthood.
We live in a society largely stalled at adolescence. Many adult men seem to relish and prolong adolescence for decades. However tempting it may be to blame and punish disaffected youth, a range of adolescent psychopathologies are all too easy to identify in many adult men across the social spectrum.
We also believe that every young man naturally seeks identity, meaning and a purpose into which he can channel the considerable energies of early male adulthood. This is why young men who do not have strong, affirming networks of support and pro-social modelling are most at risk of extremist views and radicalisation.
Sadly, the young men we meet have often experienced or witnessed domestic violence. They may have been abused or else kept someone else’s abuse a secret. They may have experienced neglect. They may have grown up where drug and alcohol abuse is commonplace and where positive adult role models are in short supply.
We have learned, and now proven, that many long-term social problems can be alleviated if young men are provided with appropriate personal encouragement, engagement and attention from first-hand role models during this key time of transition.
abandofbrothers supports young men in making a healthy transition to adult manhood and creates powerful mentoring networks that they can call upon in times of need.
The good news is that there are many adult men of conviction, courage and valuable experience that are willing and able to make such a constructive contribution, and whose hard earned wisdom has up to now lacked a context for its transmission.
Central to all of our programmes are experiences that have come to be termed “rites of passage.” Through this context we harness the integral goodwill of local adult men by providing them with a powerful training that develops mentoring skills, emotional intelligence and enhances authenticity and confidence. This in turn empowers those adult men to provide rites of passage trainings and ongoing mentorship to young men in their community.
Our approach therefore serves as a powerful catalyst for creating social capital. By reconciling generations of men, we empower each towards a mutual collaboration that serves both a common purpose and a positive vision for their own lives. Furthermore, we encourage and support young men to develop a healthy connection to their communities through engaging with the emotional literacy, confidence and respect that comes through healthy self-esteem and self-awareness.
Our Plans for Growth
We have an ambitious vision. We want to see an abandofbrothers community in every city throughout the UK, supporting thousands of men and young men.
We also want to create and build centres for working with men outside of urban areas where they can come to connect, to heal and ultimately return from with renewed purpose and vigour.
These nature based centres will provide an important antidote to the pressures and frequent toxicity of modern life. Our hope is that, one day, they could also evolve to provide arenas for learning in the areas of parenting, relationships and working with boys and young men. Finally, these centres could potentially provide a powerful alternative to our overstretched prison estates for those entrenched in the Criminal Justice System.
- ONS. (2019). Suicides in the UK: 2018 registrations. Retrieved from: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/suicidesintheunitedkingdom/2018registrations