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Sep 6, 2011

GOJoven trains youths to be leaders in their communities

For the past seven years, Belizean youths have been participating along with others from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico in a program called GOJoven. It provides training opportunities to develop the leadership skills of young people, who can then educate their peers about sexual and reproductive health. Today a two year pilot focusing solely on Belizean participants was launched in Belmopan. News Five spoke to the Program Coordinator, Eva Burgos, who says that fifteen youths have been selected to receive training and funding to establish sexual and reproductive health programs in their communities.

Via Phone: Eva Burgos, Program Coordinator, GOJoven

“The Program is called GOJoven and it’s a youth leadership in sexual and reproductive health. It has been in Belize since 2004 but it has been a regional program, having trainings in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala along with Belize. But this year what is unique about the project is that we’re launching it just for the Belizean youth meaning that we will have participants not from regionally but we will have them from districts. So this year we selected fifteen young people from the north; meaning the Corozal District, Orange Walk and Belize City so we have fifteen young people who are going to participate in the first year of GOJoven Belize Training.”

Delahnie Bain

Eva Burgos

“So what kind of training will they be involved in?”

Via Phone: Eva Burgos

“Like the program states, it’s a youth leadership in sexual and reproductive health but it’s not limited just to SRH. We do individual and Team Leadership, we do policy advocacy and media, we also do population, environment and conservation, communication and negotiation skills. Also we have a lot of program planning and program implementation, proposal writing, fundraising, budgeting. So all of that is incorporated into the SRH training; the reason being that we want to focus on SRH but we also want the young persons or the participants to have a holistic skill on how to develop a project that would benefit young people like themselves. So what the program does is to equip them with these skills but also gives them some seed funds for them to implement a project. So they will do their practical and their theory but after the training what we expect from them is to create that project that will benefit young people within their communities.”

While the first half of the two year pilot will involve participants from the northern districts, according to Burgos, GOJoven hopes to focus on youths in the south next year.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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