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Jan 22, 2021

Rossana Briceño, the New Special Envoy

Rossana Briceño

Today, the wife of Prime Minister John Briceño was officially appointed the Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children. Rossana Briceño, an educator by profession, is an advocate for special needs and helped develop a programme for students with diverse abilities at the Saint Peter’s Anglican School in Orange Walk.  Flanked by her husband, the Minister of Human Development, and other government officials, the new Special Envoy shared her plans. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

School teacher and Principal Rossana Briceño is the new Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children for Belize.


Rossana Briceño, Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children

“It is my hope that through this office, I can use my voice to bring greater priority to the development of our children. Of course, for this to happen, all of us must appreciate and understand the important role families, all families, play in the development of our nation. I want to help John and his government give the nation the best chance at success and I believe that this can only happen if we recognise the crucial role the family plays in the formation of our children and in the building of productive communities and societies.”


There are many issues that the wife of the Prime Minister wants to tackle. During an inaugural ceremony held virtually today, she spoke of four main projects in 2021 that, in her mind, would help not only women and children but the entire family unit.


Rossana Briceño

“First – to raise awareness of the condition of families and children in Belize with a view to improving the lives of the most underprivileged among us. Second to work with government, civil society and the private sector to address and meet the challenges faced by families and children. Third, to advocate for the improvement of our women and children at home and abroad. Fourth, to make sure that the plans and obligations for the protection and advancement for families and children that are a part of my husband’s agenda and for PlanBelize are realised.”


The family unit is a most precious resource; it is considered the backbone of any country. The new P.U.P. government intends to demonstrate just how much it values families and children. Through the Ministry of Human Development, under which the Special Envoy’s office falls, there is a renewed focus on people. Now minister, Dolores Balderamos Garcia was the first special envoy for women and children.


Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development

“Other aspects in our ministry that we will be giving special attention to and priority include women, of course, children. We want to focus on the elderly, we want to focus on persons with disabilities and we want to join of Special Envoy in all the priority areas that she will undertake.”


Rossana Briceño

“The Office of the Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children will push government to identify and provide COVID relief for women who have been adversely affected by this dreadful virus. Presently, scores of women have lost husbands and partners and are grieving without access to appropriate counselling and worse unaware of how they will take care of their families. More than half of those unemployed, over sixty thousand are women and many of those are the only providers for their children. We must not let these women suffer alone. We will seek ways to provide assistance and support them and their families. We have to teach our children how to properly wear a mask and learn the necessary hygiene before they return to the classrooms. And before we open the schools, the Office of the Special Envoy will work closely with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to start the study and assessment to develop a sustainable feeding programme.”


The Special Envoy will not be making a salary, but will retain employment as Principal at Saint Peter’s Anglican School.


John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“Yo noh wah get pay, but at least yow ah get ten dollars. And she said let me tell you what, I am not resigning from my work, I love my work, I love my children at Saint Peter’s, but I also need a salary. I want my own money. So we came up with a good compromise and she met with the Anglican management and Bishop thank you very much for making my life easier that you are allowing her to continue to work and keep her salary.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


Special Envoy Briceño has a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and two Master’s Degrees; one is in Educational Leadership and another in Curriculum Development and Diagnostic Assessment. Today’s event also included the launch of the new logo for the Office of the Special Envoy.

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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