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Mar 29, 2019

UNICEF and Community Groups Work Together Combat Violence

Last year UNICEF made calls for proposals from community groups and NGOs to submit proposals for funding of innovative ways to combat violence against children in different communities.  The projects have completed their implementation and on Thursday made a presentation about the results which was shared with UNICEF to help inform their work.  We stopped in at the event in Belize City to find out more. Here’s the story.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

UNICEF hosted a one day workshop with a group of community-based NGOs that are working with youth. The purpose is to bring together action groups who are using dynamic ways to reduce violence among children in vulnerable communities.


Susan Kasedde

Dr. Susan Kasedde, UNICEF Rep, Belize

“We invited innovative submissions to propose ways that we can engage with the community to raise awareness around the effects of violence against children; mobilize the communities to work together  and include young people to create safe approaches for working with young people to support recreation and peaceful conflict resolution. We invited support for vulnerable households so that they can receive from community-based groups that they know and trust; the support to enable them to work through the challenges that they face so that they start from early childhood through to adolescence so that we can reduce the engagement of children in violent conflict and also make sure that we build gradually towards community, solidarity to protect children from the effects of violence.”


Youth Advocacy through Arts is one the grantees. The group engages with children in vulnerable communities through the creative arts. Founder and Director Joseph Stamp Romero explains what he has found working within communities like Mayflower.


Joseph Stamp Romero, Founder, YATA

“So, looking at how we can discuss some of the issues affecting people using the art form as a tool and not just looking at it as some form of entertainment all the time. But how can we use it to extract information that we can get young people to deliver to us and question their own choices through using the art and then showcasing that to the wider community for them to explore and question what kinds of actions they’ve taken against children that they can then rectify.”


Andrea Polanco

“What are some of the revealing things that have come out from working with these communities using art?”


Joseph Stamp Romero

Joseph Stamp Romero

“One thing has definitely been that communities who are stigmatized by violence, they themselves are tired of it. They themselves want to move beyond that; that picture or that image that their community is affected by violence and that is what they are known for. They want to be known for their creativity as well as their hard work.”


The groups will receive mentorship from other established organizations. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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