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Jul 23, 2015

Building Entrepreneurship through Mentorship

The Institute of Sustainable Livelihood Leadership and Exchange has sixteen at risk youth, twelve from Belize City and four from Cayo, enrolled in a program that seeks to equip them with skills for them to obtain employment in electrical, plumbing, welding, mechanic trades and even cosmetology. It’s an effort to get the young people to move away from criminal activities. As a part of the trainings, the program, with the help of Australian Aid and local partners, has been able to provide the funding and even tools needed. Today, the group was in another session. Here’s that story with Andrea Polanco.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

A group of at risk youths, through the Apprenticeship Programme, participated in the “Building Entrepreneurship through Mentorship” workshop. It is an ISLEx initiative that is part of a one-year plan that seeks to empower the participants with skills training for job creation and other economic opportunities.

 

Una May Gordon, Founder, ISLEx

“It is a program which provides for employment generation among the youth, both in Belize City and in Cayo. The program is a one year program and this activity is a follow up event from one we had in May. It provides mentorship and cross fertilization between aspiring entpreneurs which are in this program and established entrepreneurs which are clients of BELTRAIDE.”

 

Carrie Wade

Carrie Wade, Mechanic Trainee

“Monday now when I start the fuss thing I du dah mi wah first vehicle and the bwai tell me he have to tek down this thing because he have to clean it up because ih mi di leak and thing.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Yu fix it?”

 

Carrie Wade

“Yes, I fix it and ih mi done and we mek ih look brand new.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Ih mi di run afta that?”

 

Carrie Wade

“Yes. Inna my six months or eight months with Ms Dianne Finnegan, I went to do like three interview, four interview and all yuh hear dah “ah wah call yuh back, ms wade. Ah wah text yuh’ But nothing. I still gone and deh with Ms Dianne Finnegan and I neva did di work. I just like it and I stay. Next week I am going to be graduating. So everything gonna be good.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, you’re employed right now?”

 

Carrie Wade

“Yes!”

 

Una May Gordon

Una May Gordon

“There is an expectation that that sixteen who benefit directly from the programme will generate employment for another two or three more and so the multiplier effect will expand as you can imagine.”

 

Two young men who hope to be a part of that multiplier effect are Reginald Garay and Joseph Debride.

 

Reginald Garay, Mechanic

“I’m a mechanic and playing a big role that di show other youths that deh could grow up and show other people weh look out fi deh wi deh and dah just you supposed to deh out di do something inna this world. I thankful very much for the entrepreneurship.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What does being in a program like this mean for you and perhaps your family’s life?”

 

Reginald Garay

Reginald Garay

“Well, good. I guarantee now that I could have mi money, I know ah got mi money di mek everyday and ah nuh have to go out go stand up and ask nobody fi nuttn. Yuh undastand mi? Ah got mi house build, ah need fi pay and ah got mi kids deh di go dah school. So, now I guarantee I got wah steady pay every weekend yuh know. Money di deh.”

 

Joseph Debride, Welder

“Well, I see it as an opportunity. There are many things that we could do by getting the tools them. We get the tools and that dah one ah the main thing. We could work. We could work.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How has business been?”

 

Joseph Debride

Joseph Debride

“Well, on and off. We nuh register wi business yet but today, I really thank Ms Una May because she bring BELTRAIDE fu mek deh open dah lee door fi mek we could license wi business and be more out there and inna the field and that’s the plan.”

 

And today’s workshop is to do just that. To share information and mentor young men and women who are “at risk” to eventually make them into employable citizens and established entpreneurs.

 

Una May Gordon

“Once you start a business, providing the information so you know because some didn’t even know these services existed and so BELTRAIDE is here provide guidance and mentoring.  One of the questions that came up that as soon as I open my business, I am going to start pay taxes. The answer is no. There is a threshold. I always tell my entpreneurs, you can’t pay if you don’t earn. But you should know that it is a legitimate part of doing business globally and you cannot operate.”

 

And their wish is to operate professionally. For Garay and Debride this means a 360. Thanks to the Apprenticeship Program and ISLEx.

 

Reginald Garay

“All the while I use to di, yuh know, mess round and thing and suh.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Mess round in…what way?”

 

Reginald Garay

“Well, heng out and stuff.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Give lee trouble?”

 

Reginald Garay

“Yeah give lee trouble and suh. All deh time I di put out pahn the street, somewhere else I could di put in deh time deh. So, I say I gone put in the time ova dah side and here I am now.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Leading a very different life?”

 

Reginald Garay

“Yeah, living a very different, better life. Successful now.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“It keeps you occupied and way from the scourge of the crime and violence in the city?”

 

Joseph Debride

“Yap. Yap. It keeps us away and have something fi live fah. Mek we have wah idea that people deh out deh wi di look out fi wi and we just have to prove wiself and do the correct thing. We wah reach deh nuh. I think we wah mek it. We wah mek it. I know we could do it.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you have a personal story that perhaps brought you to the program?”

 

Joseph Debride

“Well, well, yes. Yes, I do. I get shot. Men. I get shot like three times. That idea, the street and thing. That dah nuh the way. That dah nuh the way.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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