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Jan 25, 2016

EU Donates to Fight to Preserve and Promote Children’s Rights

Ivan Yerovi

Creating an Enabling Environment at Community Level…It’s a project of the European Union and the United Nations Children’s Fund that promotes the rights, survival, development and protection of children. This morning, at the UNICEF Office in Belize, a grant of over one hundred thousand Euros, which is a little over two hundred and sixteen thousand Belize dollars, was officially handed over by departing EU Ambassador Paola Amadei for the continuation of the project. According to Coordinator, Luwani Cayetano, the project seeks to empower the youth through the many social partners as well as the strengthening of policies to protect children from violence and sexual abuse. UNICEF Country Representative, Ivan Yerovi, was also on hand for the event.

 

Ivan Yevori, Country Representative, UNICEF

“In the first part of the grant, of the project, supported by E.U. was to raise awareness and create this awareness at community level and as I mentioned before, at the same time working with the Supreme Court, one of the main partners for us; working with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Services, etc. Those are the partners we’ve been working with. This new grant provides funding for increase in that; including more communities to the work that we are doing through partners. But the main idea in the end is raising awareness and making sure that children are fully aware and families are empowered so that they can go to court and present the cases and go through the trial.”

 

Luwani Cayetano

Luwani Cayetano, Project Coordinator

“When we talk about psychosocial support being provided that’s what we mean—social workers, councilors—and then when we say legal support, then when we can, the partners will engage in partnership with legal aid or the Bar Association because they are the ones who determine who they bring in. but when we talk about psychosocial support, what we mean is making sure that…the partners are increasing children’s awareness. Once you’ve increased awareness, something happens and you want more information and you want to be with people in your age group to happens and you want more information and you want to be with people in your age group to share that information. So then the partners provide them with spaces where they can work together and come together as children to find their voice, to be empowered. But then following that process is a social worker. So the children are doing it on their own, organically, but then a social worker is there to help to guide that process. But then we also know that children don’t grow up in isolation; they don’t exist by themselves. And so the parents are working together with the same social worker that is working with the children. So our partners are providing what we call that wrap-around to the child and to their family.”

 

Ivan Yevori

“If we get at the end of the day reduced level of impunity, most probably it is going to send a message to those that are committing a crime. That if you are going to do a crime, think about it cause there is a legal system that is going to act.”

 

Under a parallel project, a Child Friendly Court was established in Toledo and Yerovi says that in the next eight months, another Child Friendly Court will be built in the San Ignacio area. 

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