SICA Women’s Seminar Aims to Empower Victims of Abuse

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), which is a new unit of The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), is hosting a training seminar for women on Ambergris Caye. The seminar is being held in collaboration with the Women’s Department of Belize and the Central American Integration System (SICA) and kicked off on Monday, May 18th. Held at the San Pedro Town Council conference room, the seminar is being coordinated by Jorge Aldana, SICA Coordinator for San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Titled Project B.A.1, the training seminar targets victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, in an effort to assist them in personal development.BTec Beltraide Training Women Seminar-2
Project B.A.1 consists of four phases. Currently 45 women are enrolled in the first phase which is expected to last three weeks. In the first phase, particulars will learn necessary skills in life planning and personal development. “B.A.1 is being implemented in all coastal areas of Belize. It was launched two years ago when SICA member states signed a convention on prevention of violence against women. The project seeks to contribute to the reduction of violence against women, trafficking in women and femicide (crime involving the violent and deliberate killing of a woman), but through interventions to address the factors that lead to it,” said Aldana.BTec Beltraide Training Women Seminar-1
Throughout this first phase, the women will participate in lectures to prepare them for social integration. In addition, they will also be equipped with business skills. “Most participating women have a small business. Therefore it is crucial for them to acquire the necessary skills to run the business properly in order to succeed. Upon completion of the training, certain women may qualify for a grant to expand an existing business or develop a new business from the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA). This would allow them to be independent and not fall back into violence and exploitation,” explained Aldana.BTec Beltraide Training Women Seminar-3
The project is not only being implemented in Belize, but also in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Most of the participants are struggling women or single parents. “We expect that the women presently enrolled in the program continue through the four phases. Not only because it is the requirement for the CEDA grant, but because it will enrich their lives,” Aldana said.
The ultimate goals of Project B.A.1 is 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.
For further information on the project contact Jorge Aldana at the San Pedro Town Council on Barrier Reef Drive. Organizers thank the Women’s Department, the Magistrate’s Court, the San Pedro Police Department, the Ministry of Education, Community Rehabilitation Officer, and other partners for identifying the 45 participants for the training seminar.

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