The Caribbean Male Action Network (CariMAN) is a regional not-for-profit organisation, registered under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Our work is geared towards increasing the number of men and men’s organizations engaged in the promotion of social justice including bringing to an end all forms of violence including violence against women, children and men.
This organisation aims to foster greater collaboration between and among country based and region-wide initiatives addressing social and gender justice issues.
A COMMUNITY OF CARING MEN
A community of caring men, committed to partnering with women to create a just world where all people achieve their fullest potential.
CREATING OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE NEW RELATIONSHIPS
To engage Caribbean men in the examination of existing beliefs and norms, the promotion of respect for diversity and the development of new paradigms and competencies, thus creating opportunities to negotiate new relationships in order to achieve gender justice, social harmony and peaceful partnerships.
MEN SHOULD BE ADVOCATES
WE believe men should be advocates for social and gender justice.
CARIBBEAN MEN are diverse, and we must respect that diversity in terms of age, religion, ethnicity, class, educational background, sexual orientation, geography or any other status and the rights of all these individuals.
WE will ensure that men with disabilities are equal partners in our efforts to reinforce collective positive masculinity.
WE affirm the principles of gender equality and that Caribbean men and women should work together.
WE will learn from the experiences of Caribbean women who have had to liberate themselves from harmful gender roles, inequalities and stereotypes.
WE will encourage Caribbean men to be committed to their families and to overcome challenges, ideologies and stereotypes that prevent men from becoming equal partners in child rearing.
WE believe that Caribbean men should critically reflect on their history, and be engaged in a continuous process of self examination.
WE know that Caribbean men can affirm their spiritual beliefs as important and instructive dimensions to positive livelihood and existence.
WE encourage all Caribbean men to embrace the qualities of humility, compassion, nurturing, appreciation and respect for others as masculine values.
WE believe that Caribbean men have the strength to recognize that self actualization requires an openness to examination and change and that this strength could be used to overcome the fear of vulnerability and change.
WE believe that Caribbean men can commit to non-violent lives.
WE believe Caribbean men can be responsible and accountable for their behavior and can recognize their ability to be authentic: true to self and others.
With our partners including UN Women and UNFPA we have launched successful and innovative projects and partnered with others to support their initiatives. These include:
CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE
Our flagship project, launched collaboratively with UN WOMEN, began in May 2010 in Barbados. This project worked towards eliminating gender-based violence in our region. It fulfilled one of three considerations for men to become partners in advocacy and action. At present, there are Champions for Change related projects in Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Dominica, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana.
SHARE THE CARE
Another UN WOMEN project which involved some of us in the network was launched in November 2010. Findings from a research study done in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago showed the inequitable burden women in these country bore in supporting their children. This project helped fathers to become responsible parents and engaged them in co-parenting.
MAPPING STUDY (TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO)
This was an innovative study of men and boys’ organisations in Trinidad and Tobago undertaken by CariMAN’s and funded by the UNFPA. This study was aimed at identifying, documenting and coordinating all the various organisations that were dedicated to working with and for men in the country. The mapping study was the first of its kind to be conducted in Trinidad and Tobago and we hope to replicate it across the region.
PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE (PfP)
The PfP project initiated by UN Women is one that CariMAN partners have been affiliated with from its inception. PfP is aimed at improving and standardizing intervention programmes for battered women in the Caribbean. This program led to the development of a GBV prevention program targeting youth under the Community Violence Prevention program, a model which CariMAN will be adopting.
RISE PROJECT: MEN FOR A DIFFERENCE
This intervention project was a partnership with the RISE Life Management Services, funded by UNFPA. It addressed sexual and gender-based violence and targeted young men between the ages of 15- 24 years living in the Kingston inner-city communities of Fletchers Land, Parade Gardens and Allman Town. The project developed training materials and DVDs to educate youths on gender based violence. These included a ” Bull inna Pen” series of videos which have been used in several Caribbean countries.
THE UWIman: MONA “Mek Wi Reason”
This was an initiative with CARIMAC, University of the West Indies, Mona. It sought to address the growing concerns of men’s academic performance on the campus with specific reference to education as well as issues pertaining to sexuality.
A training programme for male mentors and an e-based manual (hard copy) which facilitated discussions around issues of concern to men and boys.
CariMAN’s website and Facebook page were its original forays into the world of social media. We are in the process of launching our Youtube, Blog and Twitter initiatives. See links to pages listed below:
Visit our website: ww.cariman.org
Like us on Facebook: http://http://www.facebook.com/CariMan.org
Watch us on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/CariMANchampions/videos
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/
The Chairman of CariMAN, Dr. Peter Douglas Weller, was a guest speaker at the launch of this programme which was initiated by the UN.
Celebrate Champions for Change – The CariMAN Story: Creating Spaces for Men
In January 2006, many across the region shared a vision to form an organisation to work with and for Caribbean men to raise their awareness around gender, engage them in promoting gender equality and coordinate work in this area. This vision became reality with the hosting of the Caribbean’s first male conference ‘MAN Talk’ in Jamaica in January 2006. This conference was funded by CIDA, the EU/CARICOM and UWI Mona in collaboration with WMW, Jamaica. This initiative led to the birth of the Caribbean Male Action Network (CariMAN) chaired by Dr. Peter Weller. Today, CariMAN is present in twelve (12) countries spanning the wider Caribbean from the Bahamas, to Belize in the North and Guyana in the West and Trinidad and Tobago to the South East.
Since its inception, CariMAN has partnered with regional and international organisations to implement various Gender and Social Justice projects. Its extensive collaborations include CIDA, CARICOM/EU, UWIHARP, PAHO, UNFPA, UN Women, and UNDP. CariMAN is now partnering with Sonke Gender Justice Network, a South African NGO building South-South relationships through MenEngage. In fact, CariMAN, in recognition of its work in the Caribbean, is now the regional representative on the Executive Committee of MenEngage, a global alliance of more than 400 non-governmental organizations and UN partners. This Alliance seeks to engage men and boys in reducing gender inequalities as well as to promote the health and well-being of women, men, and children.
CariMAN now considers itself to be a gender and social justice organization advocating and intervening in a number of arenas affecting the lives of men and the women in their lives including: “Masculinity and Gender Relationships”, “Men’s Health”, “Men as Caregivers”, “Violence Prevention”, “Mentoring”, as well as “creating a space for men and their concerns in the context of Gender Equality.” It achieves this objective through a networking of dynamic Communication, Collaboration and Coordination.
CariMAN’s innovative projects, such as Champions for Change, and the Mapping Study in Trinidad and Tobago, have the potential to positively impact the lives of Caribbean men and women.
CariMAN’s use of social media (www.cariman.org and Facebook) and its innovative Projects, such as YouthManTalk training program, Men for a Difference as well as its partnerships and collaboration in regional interventions such as the UNiTE GBV campaign, Share the Care (Men as partners in caregiving), Partnership for Peace – A Batterer Intervention Programme (UNWomen), Men for a Difference (RISE/UNFPA) and UWIman Initiative at the University at Mona have impacted the lives of many in the Caribbean.
CariMAN continues its thrust to provide a “community of caring men, committed to partnering with women to create a just world where all people achieve their fullest potential.”
(Photo by UN Photo)