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Aug 13, 2021

Y.W.C.A. and S.S.B. Team Up for Life Skills Course

The Young Women’s Christian Association has been around for decades, improving the lives of Belizean women and children through training in courses that promise to bring about economic growth. And today, the non-governmental organization issued certificates to five of forty participants who completed life-skills course after they lost their jobs due to COVID.  The training was the result of a partnership with the Social Security Board. News Five’s Marion Ali has this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

It might have only lasted for four days, but these five individuals feel that the training they have received have given them the know-how to carry them through the roughest parts of their lives. Altogether, the Y trained forty persons countrywide. Natalie Palacio-Pook, a vendor of Willow’s Bank Village in the Belize District, was one of them.


Natalie Palacio-Pook

Natalie Palacio-Pook, Willow’s Bank Vendor

“Cruise tourism came to a close and a halt and my family was affected because both myself and my husband worked in the cruise tourism industry. At the time when it happened we were obligated and we had to deal with not only ourselves but our three children as well as my elderly parents. So that definitely caused a household of seven persons to become affected with not having a sustainable source of income.”


The impact of the pandemic on women like Palacio-Pook is what led the Y to offer a basic course so participants can generate money for themselves.


Joevannie Collins, Project Coordinator, Y.W.C.A.

“We know that people always tend to move towards these specific courses, namely sewing, culinary arts and food preparation because it’s a market and this market never fails.  These people actually learnt what we would teach in three months in one week. So we started off from 9:00 in the morning and we would commence around 4:00-5:00. So that’s a full day of training non-stop.”


The Y carries out its programs through solicitations, and Project Coordinator, Joevannie Collins told us and the Belize Social Security Board was happy to help with this one.


Joevannie Collins

Joevannie Collins

“Due to COVID – it’s bringing everybody to its knees and the economy itself so we are happy that we have partnered with Social Security to bring forth such training not only to give Y.W.C.A. business but to continue our mission at the Y.W.C.A. to empower women and youths.”


The partnership, according to S.S.B.’s General Manager of Customer Relations Services, Chandra Cansino comes this time around as part of S.S.B.’s fortieth anniversary celebration. S.S.B., she said, thought it fit to empower forty persons who were left wanting because of COVID.


Chandra Cansino

Chandra Cansino, Gen. Mgr, Corporate Customer Relations Services, S.S.B.

“Empowering forty was directly targeted towards the persons who lost employment during the COVID-19 pandemic and so that is what the requirements for applying for these courses included – that you had to be unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, be a registered person with Social Security and have a Social Security number and be able to complete the program.”


Cansino says the courses are facilitated by Y.W.C.A. across Belize and include barbering, cake-decorating, food preparation and sewing. Marion Ali for News Five.

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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