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Aug 17, 2017

CitCo’s Child Advisory Board is Going Back to School

This afternoon, a handful of students, all of whom are members of the Child Advisory Board, an arm of the Belize City Council, were recipients of back-to-school grants.  The initiative is a humble means of acknowledging the efforts that children and teenagers have made in the governance and beautification of the Old Capital.  Councilor Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar is assigned that portfolio and she presented the participants with certificates of recognition.

 

Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar

Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar, City Councilor

“The Child Advisory Body to the Belize City Council, from the time I was elected again, which was 2015, Mayor Bradley decided that he was going to give me the portfolio of children.  This was after we were elected and already given portfolios.  We had to work closely with the Ministry of Local Government and we had to come up with a Child Advisory Body and that is children from ages eight to seventeen.  Presently we have a total of thirteen, one male, twelve females and what the Child Advisory Body, what they actually do is to help us to make decisions, whether it’s painting a park, they choose the color.  If it is a decision we are going to have something at BTL Park, what are the types of entertainment they would want to see for children.  From that they are allowed to make decisions on, so we try our very best to include them in all our decision making.  They participate as well in our caucus meeting and we invite them to come in if there is anything that they feel they need to put forward on behalf of children.  They are allowed a slot in our caucus meeting to do that as well.  So this is just basically to tell them thank you, because these children they have woken up five o’clock in the morning to go with us and plant trees.  They have gone with us to paint classrooms throughout Belize City.  That’s just some of the things they have done, so what we are doing today is just to give them a back-to-school grant to say thank you for all they have done over the past two, going for three years.”

 

Candice Armstrong

Candice Armstrong, President, Child Advisory Board

“It’s something that I really enjoyed doing, being the fact that sometimes the mentally that adults have, [that] kids should be seen and not heard or they belong in the background and until we are an adult we can make certain decisions.  And I think the Belize City Council is really changing that and making a shift in the way that we actually have a say or we can actually influence the way that we want our city to look, which I think is really cool, because at the end of the day youths are the future.  We are going to be adults in a couple of years and I think that it’s very important that we recognize that we have a say now rather than later, when we’re older and the views that we might have or certain things that might happen may influence the way that we think by that time.”

 

The members of the Child Advisory Board range from eight to seventeen years old.

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