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Jun 4, 2020

YATA’s Walls Down Makes the Cut for the “Change the Story Competition”

Joseph Stamp Romero

Turning to an interesting competition, The Walls Down project piloted by Joseph Stamp Romero, the founding director of Youth Advocacy Through Arts, has been entered into a contest, sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank in collaboration with the Department of Youth Service and BELTRAIDE. The Change the Story Competition is aimed at capturing innovative social ideas that can transform into businesses opportunities. The focus is to turn arts and culture into an effective anti-crime tool in marginalized communities. Romero shares more on the initiative.


Joseph Stamp Romero, Founding Director, Youth Advocacy Through Arts

“The idea for walls down was to have a project that wasn’t just artistic based, but one that was social based that allowed the community to see the possibility of using the arts on another level. So going into communities and meeting with community leaders who wanted to say something to the community that was positive, who wanted to impact the community in a constructive way and bringing together key partners that have a stake in the community. One of our biggest partners has always been Department of Youth Services, RESTORE Belize; these persons are key in getting us mobilized in communities and helping us with resource allocation for the success of these types of projects. Making social innovation plans and moving them to a stage where they6 can be sustainable. So the idea is to give these innovators a chance to step up to the next level of having these initiatives that can actually sustain themselves on a long term basis. So we are giving training in terms of creating a business platform, we are giving systems training in terms of processes that you can implement within your organization. Understanding your why and your how; what you do and how you can improve the processes within your own structure. So the training has been really beneficial to participants as myself. The idea, the mission has always been for YATA, and its projects like Walls Down to move to a sustainable level. While having key partners is great and good, you have to look at a way where you can move in a direction where you know where your revenue is coming from.”

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