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Feb 27, 2019

DYS launches Youth Mainstreaming Strategy

The Belize National Youth Mainstreaming Strategy Framework Consultation kicked off today in Belize City. It’s a big name for a strategy that seeks a coordinated government approach to enable equity for all young people. The strategy looks at the social, economic and political bearings for Belizean youth in decision making process and planning. In order to position the youth in public and private sectors, the Department of Youth Services partnered with the Commonwealth Secretariat  to host a the three day event to sensitize their partners about this inclusive approach to youth empowerment and development.  Andrea Polanco stopped by today and shares more in the following story.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Department of Youth Services is spending the next three days introducing “Youth Mainstreaming” to more than sixty of their partners from the private, public and social sectors. It is a youth-centric approach with actionable outcomes. It seeks to make young people more than just an add-on to programmes and social interventions.

 

Aida Escobar, Communications Officer, DYS

Aida Escobar

“It is a very new topic in the world. We are actually only the second country in all of the world that is getting help by the Commonwealth to bring this consultation here today. So, first of all, it is a new term and we are trying to understand what it is. And throughout the three days it is to ask our invitees, who are the directors and representatives of these large corporations, to see how they can go back and change the policies in their environment and that way they can go back and help all youth in all areas.”

 

This consultation will help get buy in from partners. The DYS will help to formulate strategies and through-out the next three years roll out a plan that will see young people be a part of the decision making and planning their future.  The commitment is to ultimately empower youth and promote their development.

 

Aida Escobar

“It is actually incorporating a lot of major topics that we don’t usually hear young persons in. For example, we have health; agriculture and yes, we have education but we also finances. We also have private sector here today and so it is really all those big organizations that have power over of how we rule in Belize. We also have the Belize Progressive Party here; the UDP; a member of the PUP.  So, it is a cross-section of everyone who has a say in Belize and we will be talking with them about how we can put the youth at forefront.”

Aida Escobar explains some of the ways in which youth mainstreaming can help Belize.

Aida Escobar

“Maybe as adults we get used to working. We don’t try to change anything, but a young person coming out of school or someplace else has all these ideas and people don’t take these ideas and sometimes that just kills it for them. So, this is about bringing them over and say let’s hear those ideas and see how we can make them happen; let’s see how our organizations can help and our directors can look at it and how we can bring equity not only to our young people, but it will really benefit everyone in our country.We are seeing a lot of young people who want to continue their education but don’t have the means to do so either financial or other ways, so it is something that will bring about change in that area. We have a lot of young people who want to be entrepreneurs and they don’t know how they will go about doing that. So, then we would look at our private sector who are in business and ask them to come onboard to create some policy that would help these young people as well. So, it is really anything that a young person has had an idea for, people that may have been overlooked in the past; there are young people who don’t go to school so we don’t see them as much as we do see when we visit schools. It is a chance for all of them to be heard and whatever their dream is for them to know that they can achieve it.”

Andrea Polanco reporting for News Five.

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