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Aug 22, 2018

Programme for Belize Changing Lives through Scholarships

For the fourth consecutive year, Programme for Belize has awarded scholarships to high school students. Six students were selected based on their needs, determination to complete a secondary education and are from communities which buffer the Rio Bravo Conservation Area. Programme for Belize’s mission is to protect the Rio Bravo’s biodiversity. The goal is to assist the students in achieving higher education in order to limit or reduce the number of families who depend on the natural resources of Rio Bravo. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo found out how the one-year scholarship will impact the lives of the recipients.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

This is twelve-year old Ed Canizales.

 

Ed Canizales

Ed Canizales, Scholarship Recipient

“I feel proud of myself and I think my parents feel too.”

 

Canizales is from San Felipe Village in the Orange Walk District. Today, he along with five other students received a one-year tuition scholarship courtesy of Programme for Belize.

 

Ed Canizales

 “I told them that we are having money problems and that my sister is in second form and I am going to first form. I want to thank Programme for Belize because they are helping my parents in financial things because my sister will attend second form and so we are having little problems with money.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Will you study hard?”

 

Ed Canizales

“Yes.”

 

Canizales wants to venture into the field of technology and will soon begin his first day at Belize High School of Agriculture. And if he keeps his grade at a satisfactory level or higher, the possibility that Programme for Belize would renew his scholarship for another year is high. Sixteen-year-old Kerwin Torres of August Pine Ridge Village can attest to this. He will begin his last year at Muffles College High School. Throughout his high school education, Torres has been financially assisted by Programme for Belize.

 

Kerwin Torres

Kerwin Torres, Scholarship Recipient

“This scholarship also encourages me because I see myself helping my parents. And by helping them I have to do better in school. So if I see that I am doing badly, I have to try harder by getting better grades. I help my parents by sending my good reports to Programme for Belize so that they see that I am trying my best so that they can help me for the year.”

 

Apart from the financial background shared by both students and the determination to achieve higher education, Canizales and Torres, have one other important factor in common that was crucial to the selection process. They live in communities that surround Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area. For Programme for Belize, this is vital.

 

Edilberto Romero

Edilberto Romero, Executive Director, Programme for Belize

“These are communities that very little employment opportunities so by providing education we hope to open up opportunity for them  so that they can get involve in other jobs other than logging, hunting and agriculture that is dependent on the natural resources. It’s helping us by helping them.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Does Programme for Belize does any follow up with the students to make sure that they keep their grades high during the school year?”

 

Edilberto Romero

“Yes. We ask them to send us their term reports. We look at them and if we see if the grades are a little low, we talk to them and encourage them to study a little harder. So that next year if you are going to another form we can renew the scholarship of not then we cannot renew the scholarship because we cannot afford to lose the investment.”

 

The scholarship programme is funded by the Massachusetts Audubon Society which this year donated a total of four thousand dollars. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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