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Dec 21, 2017

Children’s Advisory Board meets

The Children Advisory Board is a platform used for child participation to support governance at the municipal levels. The boards are established in all nine towns and cities in Belize to aid in the mayor’s municipality child friendly initiative. It is used to get feedback from children to provide insights when considering policy decisions in each municipality. Today the annual Presidents Meeting was held in the City and there was a vibrant discussion on things that affect children and how municipalities can make informed choices to improve their lives.

 

Dr. Susan Kasedde, UNICEF Country Rep, Belize

Dr. Susan Kasedde

“Really what it is about is making sure that the voices of children are heard and integrated in the process of decision making and governance so that we contribute to more child sensitive policy making and child sensitive planning in our community. So we are hearing lots of open candid discussion about what makes the experience of children challenging in Belize. But they are also coming up with very concrete proposal for change. They are involving themselves as well and making themselves available to participate in consultation. But really trying to make sure that the decision makers know what children are worried about and address those as they continue to budget and plan their services. It is an annual meeting and purpose is to make sure that the children are able to share their perspectives with representatives from across the government because UNICEF believe that it is this kind of partnership across  sectors and with children that can really help us to retrieve the transformation that are required for child sensitive and sustainable development. So that is the value of this kind of meeting.”

 

Orlinton Chacon

Orlinton Chacon, CBA, San Pedro

“The main issue they are facing right now is dugs, people dealing with drugs and after drugs comes crime along with it. Because you know they are selling drugs to children and another issue will be drinking because we have our main park the central park and then the central park is surrounded by two main areas which are Jaguars and Daddy Rocks which are two places for adults but we will like to remove that because we don’t want drinking around where children will go play and have fun.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So you are suggestion for that is improvement in those?”

 

Orlinton Chacon

“Yeah, we have improvement for that and for drugs we are starting to the Cab, we are starting to do an anti-drug campaign starting January. We are going to start to do different events in the months so we are awareness about it.”

 

Ilana Cruz, Punta Gorda

Ilana Cruz

“There aren’t as many events as there should be for the kids. Children rent being outspoken so we have that issue in PG. They keep the children on a mild, small scale that they don’t want to hear our opinion but we will make that happen for the future.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How do you plan to make that happen?”

 

Ilana Cruz

“Well, we plan to make that happen by speaking to the children, asking for their opinion, going to schools and just asking them about their opinions about the system in Belize  especially.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now getting the children to speak out how do you think that helps with the overall development of children in Punta Gorda?”

 

Ilana Cruz

“Well, the place will be more child friendly, children will also love the municipality more and they will be appreciate it more.”

 

Peter Aragon

Peter Aragon, Orange Walk Town

“We are planning to do a health care awareness campaign because in Orange Walk we have an issue which is the health care system. Recently the allergy case happened and it took me thirty minutes to get a person attended which was very….well too long. Because it can really spread and this is a real issue and I believe there should be a priority to be attended to instantly because well as they say we are the future and we are the voices. But there can be no voice if there are no children or child.”

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