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Jul 15, 2015

Students Participate in Arts Training Workshop

Seventy-eight students from twenty-three schools across the city are in the Primary School Art Skills Training Pilot Project taking place at the Department of Youth Services in Belize City. It’s a project supported by the Department of Youth Services, the Embassy of Taiwan and NICH which seeks to train students to develop their artistic skills. Andrea Polanco reports.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Several young students are learning and earning through the Primary School Art Skills Training Project’s latest initiative, the postcard program. The art students have put their artistic training to use and created these beautiful pieces and turned them into post-cards which are now available for sale.


Sabreena Daly

Sabreena Daly, PR, Department of Youth Services

“Children create art pieces and it’s turned into post cards and sold in different gift shops and the monies generated is used for their school fees. Now, the children highlighted there were members of the post card program, where they were actually really dedicated. The top sponsors provided scholarships for their school fees. I think it is a nice initiative because it teaches these young people to actually appreciate their country and have an impact on their own future. Long gone are the days waiting for a scholarship to come in front of you or waiting for somebody to come and help you. You have to go and help yourselves now.”


Nine students were recognized with scholarships today. And from the sales of their post-cards, they are set to earn even more. And just how much of a deal is it for the students to learn and earn? For Amauri Amoa, it is pretty big deal.


Amauri Amoa

Amauri Amoa, Art Student

“This is a great thing to do. I feel so happy because my mother, you know, doesn’t always have the money at time. This is such a nice thing for the PSAST do for us. I am going to high school right now so you know you’ll have a lot of money to pay. So, right now I just feel so grateful for what they have done for me. The thing I loved about art is that I get to express myself not through talking but by what I do. I actually get to show somebody what I feel inside and I don’t have to tell them.”


At the helm of the program is art teacher, Fiona Huang.


Fiona Huang

Fiona Huang, Coordinator, PSAST

“The kids come and learn different things; basic drawing, painting, illustrations, 3-D art, including face painting, everything. We try to offer different classes to them.”


Several of the students have been working with Huang for a few years now which gives them the opportunity to sharpen their skills.


Justin Chen

Justin Chen, Art Student

“I joined the Art Class at St Joseph when Ms Fiona was doing art at St Joseph. I further joined into the face painting group at St Joseph School which we did face painting for Christmas, Halloween and different events.”


Amauri Amoa

“I would go there and she would teach me how to train my hands, how to paint stuff. Yeah, how to draw and paint. Actually, I came knowing a little bit in art and she just helped me to progress so much. I learned how to paint better because I didn’t even know how to paint a flower when I came here. I actually started to learn how to face paint and that’s a big deal for me.”


Jaheem Rosado

Jaheem Rosado, Art Student

“I have been coming from when was in Standard Four and now I am going into to Standard Six. I have been coming here every day now. They teach us how to paint flowers, do other techniques with the brushes and paint. It’s a nice program and it helps us how to learn more about what we love.”



Atlantic Bank and Brother’s Habet recognized the potential and impact of this local initiative and have become partners of the programme.


Claudia Lopez, Asst Sr Manager, Customer Care, Atlantic Bank Ltd

“I did tear up. It’s amazing to see all of this work and all the hard work they have put in. Atlantic Bank has been a supporter of the arts for many, many years.”


Carlo Habet

Carlo Habet, Managing Director, Brothers Habet

“I am just very proud of these kids. I am not the crying type but it was definitely moving. I love; I just love seeing what they come up with. They are so young and innocent and I think the Minister mentioned earlier that they are honest. If you look at these works of art, you get a look into the souls of these kids, really, and the Belizean collective. I am extremely glad that it is a sustainable project and that it will be used to fund underprivileged kids. I just can’t wait to see what comes out of this because Belize is overflowing with talent, not just with art but with everything. We have such raw talent, we just need to develop it.”


And to nurture the talent, the programme’s focus is also to make the post-card initiative sustainable.


Sabreena Daly

“They are undergoing a different intake towards getting money, where they are going overseas or they are hoping to go overseas where postcards will be sold in cruise ships in America and even in Taiwan. Also, they’d like to get work on getting book agendas, exercise books, book marks, simple things that can make money for these children.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.


The post-cards will be available at tourist village, Brodies, gift shops around the city. Cards will be around one dollar fifty cent each card

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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