Project BA -1 participants to receive promised grants
Saturday, December 12th, 2015
After several months of waiting, 34 women from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, will finally receive their grants to start or expand their businesses. In May 2015, the Belize Training and Employment Centre, a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, hosted a three week training seminar for women in San Pedro Town. Titled ‘Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking project BA 1’, the training was designed for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, with the aim to assist victims in becoming more self-confident by empowering them with the necessary tools to help them gain personal development. At the end of the program, qualified participants were selected for a grant in order to develop their business ideas, but after the women completed the training, the funds were not immediately forthcoming. However, their constant inquiries yielded results, and on Saturday, December 5th, they were given the good news at a private gathering at the San Pedro High School.
Some of the participants had stated that they were losing hope of getting the financial assistance they were promised, since the delay was very long. But they also realized that they could not give up, thus, they continued knocking on doors for answers until they were heard. Speaking to the ladies at the meeting was independent consultant Dana Rhamdas who held a follow up with them. “The purpose of this reunion with the ladies was not just to announce to them when they are getting their funds, but to touch base on the psycho-social part of the program which deals with a follow up of the training they did this year. We want to see what all they have done since finishing the program, and what ideas they have to start executing their projects,” said Rhamdas. She indicated that up to date the women have not achieved anything when it comes to their business plans and Rhamdas knows why. “These women were supposed to receive their grants a long time ago, but because of the delay, some of them went into different directions, like for example seeking jobs,” stated Rhamdas.
At the end of the session, the attendees were asked to come up with a business plan and if they had already started one, they were invited to share it with everyone. Many of the women expressed their hardships in moving ahead, in getting jobs since the majority are single mothers. Rhamdas encouraged them to be positive, and the news that they finally will be provided with the grants certainly eased the ladies’frustrations. At the meeting they were also prepared for the distribution of the funds and how best they could create their business plans in order to have a successful investment of the grants.
The ultimate goals of Project B.A.1 are to improve regional and national coordination to implement actions; strengthen the institutional capacity of a region/nation, to prevent and address violence against women, trafficking in women and femicide, as well develop local plans and mechanisms of comprehensive care for victims/survivors.
The participants from San Pedro Ambergris Caye who qualified for the grants, will received their funds no later than Friday, December 18, 2015.
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