Youth Apprentices Get I.D.B. Help
The Youth Apprenticeship Program got a boost today with a donation that will go a long way in providing jobs for at-risk youths in the city. At the program headquarters on Youth for the Future Drive, a number of apprentices happily received the donation made possible through the CAPS project, between the Government of Belize and the Inter-American Development Bank. News Five’s Duane Moody has that report.
Duane Moody, Reporting
The Inter-American Development Bank, through the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation handed over close to thirteen thousand dollars’ worth of culinary, barbering and vehicle cleaning equipment to the Youth Apprenticeship Program. The initiative is part of the Community Action for Public Safety Project, better known as CAPS, implemented by the ministry to provide at-risk youths with alternative means of earning incomes, given the necessary equipment. On hand to receive the donation was Program Coordinator Dianne Finnegan.
Dianne Finnegan, Coordinator, Youth Apprenticeship Program
“I think that we all realize that in order to get our country back on track on the level of peace and productivity, it takes major investment. And this investment today plays a major role because it means that we’ll have individuals that will not be on the streets, but will be doing something productive with their lives.”
Elvis Requeña, Program Coordinator, Ministry of
“The initiative came about directly from the Prime Minister’s initiative to try and look at the issues that have been happening with youths and the violence that have been plaguing Belize. This initiative is actually one of the first initiatives in Belize as far as citizen security goes; the idea being that once you have youths actively and positively engaged, then they have less time to engage in negative behaviour or anything of the sort.”
The apprentices had to undergo a three-week training, in which they were prepared to become entrepreneurs, making money honestly and legally. Shanice Mendoza says it will allow her to expand her business.
“I do barbering home so it will be different cause I’ll get more costumers and it will be like my own environment and not my house.”
“How long have you been doing barbering?”
“Like five to six years.”
“And you’ve received training too right?”
“Yes sir, I went to skills training center.”
Everyone knows that when you head over to downtown Albert and Regent Streets, you can stop in behind the courthouse and get your vehicle washed by one of the many carwash men in the parking lot. Robert Jones of Grooving Moving Car Wash, which was also a beneficiary, says that it keeps them away from crime.
Robert Jones, Carwash Business
“We started to go into the business because we tired ah deh pan the streets and deh bout di sell lee bit a drugs and thing so we di try uplift fi we life fi make police stop bother we and thing. We try make thing better off fi everybody. We wash all around; anytime of the hours is when we wash car. The vacuum the power wash and everything weh Miss Finnegan do fu we and the IDB program weh we deh ina, look out fi di ghetto youth like we fi make life better off fi we.”
In the months ahead, the start up equipment will be used to further enhance the micro businesses of the young entrepreneurs attached to the Apprenticeship Program. Duane Moody for News Five.