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Aug 8, 2011

YWCA Belize wins an award

The World YWCA holds it international council meeting every four years to assess the work of the different country branches and to elect board members.  The World Council Meeting and International Women’s Summit was attended by at least one thousand members, representing over a hundred countries. This year’s agenda included the presentation of the first Mary Robinson Award for Young Women’s Leadership in Human Rights, which was won by the YWCA Belize. It’s a momentous achievement for the local Y to have its fifty-five years of service recognized internationally. Sonia Linares, the General Secretary of the YWCA Belize led the delegation that attended the event in Zurich, Switzerland. She spoke to News Five about the award and young Belizean YWCA member, who was elected to the organization’s World Board.

Sonia Linares

Sonia Linares, General Secretary, YWCA Belize

“The YWCA won an award at the World YWCA Meeting and International Women’s Summit. It’s the first time Mary Robinson, a past president of Ireland and human rights activists decided to put out this award or to ask YWCA’s and other international organizations to apply for this award. The award has to do with human rights for young women who are human rights activists and for organizations who display exemplary support and work in the area of human rights and leadership. And the YWCA was fortunate to have won the award, but we shared it with the YWCA of Canada. It’s a big international award and it was highly recognized at our World Council Meeting.

Two young women received the award for human rights activist who have been working hard and then the YWCA Belize. They presented our organization because of the work that we have been doing in Belize; the sexual and reproductive health, the HIV/AIDS with the barber shop program and also in general, the leadership that we have been doing to help young women in Belize.

Tricia Gideon

For the first time a young member from Belize, a youth representative that went with me from Belize was elected to the world board. The last council meeting that we had, which was held in Kenya, for the first time we had a representative elected to the board then and that was Miss Icilda Humes and this year we had Tricia Gideon. Tricia now, was not only elected to the board but she was also elected—they had another election and she was elected as one of the six vice presidents of the world and we feel very honored about that.”

The council meeting and summit were held under the theme “Women Creating a Safe World.”

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