Child Friendly Silver Award for San Ignacio and Santa Elena

Mayor Earl Trapp

The municipality of San Ignacio and Santa Elena has been recognized as a Child-friendly Municipality, receiving the Silver Award. This means that the Twin Towns is leading with a high grade in comparison to all nine municipalities in Belize. As part of that effort, there was a billboard launch at a parking lot in Red Creek, on Thursday.
Mayor Earl Trapp Junior signed the Sustainable Child-Friendly Municipalities Initiative Agreement in 2014 on behalf of the town council.
“Today’s unveiling of this billboard is as a result of the certification and accreditation of the child-friendly initiative that our municipality has earned and indeed we feel proud to have earned the highest points in the certification with respect to all municipalities, making us earn the silver award.”
The twin town council formed a Child Advisory Board (CAB), implemented street cameras, upgraded parks and playgrounds and had started community gardens. It was left to the children to award the council with silver, knowing full well that both gold and platinum are yet to be reachable goals.
Alison Parker of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund was also present at Thursday’s ceremony. According to Parker “Young people and children constitute over 50 percent of this country’s population. The demographic projections that we have is that by 2050 they will constitute 70 percent of this country’s population, so investing in children today is a critical part of a collective effort for the welfare, prosperity, and development of Belize.”
Parker recognized that Belize has over the years made significant gains investing in the rights of children. Belize was the fifth country to sign the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990 and went a step further to develop the Families and Children Act that outlines the laws that govern how we will support families to protect children.
Joining in was Margaret Nicholas, Executive Director of the National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC). Nicholas had been to San Pedro and Belmopan overseeing child-friendly events and in Red Creek announced that Belize should be the best place in the world for children to be and that we have to give children the opportunity to develop.
For Lea Gonzalez, President of CAB, it was an opportunity to explain her efforts for children to have a better future. A former student from Eden Seventh Day Adventist Primary, Gonzalez became involved in CAB six years ago and has attended workshops at the Radisson over the years. Gonzalez volunteers for a children’s program on the local FM Radio and meets virtually with her members. “I am honored to serve my beloved Twin Towns,” she says.