Project BA 1 participant’s complete training
Friday, June 12th, 2015
On Friday, June 5th 34 single mothers graduated from the Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking seminar “Project BA 1” in San Pedro. The program was designated to assist the women in becoming more self confident, by empowering them with the necessary tools to help them gain personal development. The program also allowed the participants to receive a small grant in order for them to achieve their goals. The project started on May 18th and wrapped up on Friday with the presentation of certificates by Mayor Daniel Guerrero.
Hosted by the Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC), which is a unit under the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with the Women’s Department of Belize and the Central American Integration System (SICA), the seminar took place at the San Pedro Town Council Conference room. The targeted participants were victims of domestic violence, single mothers and persons vulnerable to human trafficking. The prime participants were single mothers who took on courses to learn life planning skills and their personal development. Another goal of the project is to eradicate or reduce violence against women.
Mayor Daniel Guerrero encouraged the program’s graduates not to give up and to take advantage of all these opportunities that are given to them. “There will be more opportunities coming in the future and… you can take advantage of them. It’s a learning process, but it is never too late to learn. We appreciate that you all participated in this three-week project, it means a lot to us and it means that you are interested and you want to move forward,” said Guerrero. He went to emphasize the importance of participating in such programs. “There are a lot of grants for projects coming up, we need to make use of them because if we do not, then the funds go back to the government, so let’s take advantage of these opportunities and encourage your friends or anyone you know that can attend these useful seminars that we provide for the great benefit of the people on the island,” ended Guerrero.
Following the Mayor’s remarks, the women received their certificates of completion. There were wide smiles of joy from some of the women, while others were emotional, but proud of their accomplishments. These women have become armored with the skills which will help them to make better choices in their lives. Aside from theoretical lessons, they also learned business skills so they could excel in their business ventures with the grant provided by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA).
Carolina Gonzalez, one of the successful participants, extended her appreciation on behalf of all the other women for the opportunity to be part of the training. “I am so thankful for having been part of this seminar. Thank you for the little push, for giving us the hope that we needed in order to move forward,” stated Gonzalez as she tried to hold back emotions. “I want to also say thanks, because now we can continue or start our businesses, be entrepreneurs. I am here to learn new things and I cannot stop saying thank you for these opportunities given to me and to all of us that are present here this evening.”
According to Project BA 1 Project Coordinator, Jorge Aldana, this is a four phase program and expects that this group of graduates will complete the other phases of the project. This will have tremendous benefits, as the women will become more independent and most likely will not fall back into any type of exploitation or domestic abuse. At the closing remarks, it was announced that Caye Caulker will soon see a similar project take place there as well.
Aldana would like to thank SICA for choosing San Pedro and Caye Caulker as part of its cluster, the Police Department and Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez for helping in the selection process, The Human Development Department, the Office of the Mayor, some of the Councilors who also assisted in locating some of the participants, and the team at BELTRAIDE.
For further information on the project and how to enroll, contact Project Coordinator, Jorge Aldana at the San Pedro Town Council on Barrier Reef Drive or via phone 226-2198.
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