No problem too big for these men
“International Men’s Day? What’s that?”
Chances are, this would be the typical reaction when you mention the occasion — which falls on Nov 19 every year — to friends and family, men included.
After all, while the #metoo movement has given fresh momentum to women’s rights and issues, men’s issues are rarely in the spotlight. And unlike International Women’s Day, International Men’s Day is not a United Nations event.
Nonetheless, it is now celebrated in over 70 countries to acknowledge men’s achievements and contributions, especially in their communities and families.
As such, Our Better World is joining in to celebrate the men whose stories we have told, for all the good they’ve done nurturing future generations and fostering communities that uplift others.
Men like Linus Lin, a Singaporean who thinks of children as jewels “trying to sparkle”, and who founded Global Village for Hope to help underprivileged children in Myanmar achieve their dreams through education.
Or Bioskop Bisik founder Ramya Prajna, whose simple goal of helping the blind “watch” movies in Indonesia, has created friendships and inclusivity for this marginalised group.
Or Filipino Ralph de Sagon, who wants to see others make the improbable journey from slum kids to entrepreneurs — as he did, with help from Escuela Taller — by offering training and job opportunities to youth from the slum he grew up in.
There is also Mritunjay Kumar Tiwary, who founded Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital in rural India to take aim at two problems impacting society: curable blindness and gender inequality. Through football, he nurtures underprivileged girls to become optometrists.
And there’s Cheong Yuk Wai, founder of CyberCare in Malaysia, who instills in disadvantaged youth the belief in creating dreams, and empowers them with the skills they need to achieve those dreams.
These men inspire us because of their desire to bring the oft-forgotten into the fold, their nurturing spirit to guide a younger generation, and their unwavering support to help others seek a better life.
This International Men’s Day, the spotlight is theirs.