RET successfully finishes Youth Ambassador Program in Belize


RET Americas has been working in rural Belize to host and finalize a Cascade Model with Youth Ambassadors. The project, “RET Youth Ambassadors in Belize: empowering capacities to reduce gender-based violence (GBV) incidences and respond to community challenges”, has now come to its culmination and during its course, was hosted in Rancho Dolores, Belize District. On March 13, 2021, the project’s final event served as an accountability activity to present results to the communities, participants and key partners involved.
It aimed to increase the resilience of the youths of Belize through empowering their capacities related to mental health, gender equality, leadership, and gender-based violence. The process has empowered the participants as capable agents of change in Belize, particularly in the River Valley area, by addressing the protection needs of the population in the country, since the COVID-19 pandemic and the containment measures increased their vulnerability. Participants were trained through a collaborative and youth-centered approach led by RET Americas. The trainings enabled the creation of a group of young leaders: Helping Hands Youth Council, which led and organized awareness raising activities among their communities. This group is now a community-based actor that will continue contributing to respond to specific challenges and issues in three communities in the Belize district.
At the end of the project, a total of 81 persons (48 women, 31 men, and two bi-gendered persons) were engaged and trained through a tailored mentoring process. Likewise, a Youth Ambassador Group consisting of 21 persons from Double Head Cabbage, Rancho Dolores, and Scotland Halfmoon was created. Some 500 persons were also directly impacted by the awareness campaign as well as activities led by the youth. The youths from the villages of Rancho Dolores, Double Head Cabbage, and Scotland Halfmoon were awarded Certificates for their participation in Gender-Based Violence, Gender Equality, Mental Health, and Leadership trainings. From these trainings, the youth groups had individual booths where they highlighted as well as disseminate information to the public.
Under the guidance of RET Americas, the youth organized and implemented Quick Impact Projects that addressed some of the needs and challenges that they had identified in their respective communities. As of recent, these youths performed a Cascade model-relaying the information that they learnt over the course of RET’s training to the wider community. The event was carried out in collaboration with Our Circle, Department of Youth Services, the Government of Belize, The National Women’s Commission, The Anti Trafficking in Persons Council Belize, and Timely Transparent Response. This intervention was implemented through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives from September 2020 to March 2021.