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Mar 16, 2023

Peacework Belize and Taiwan ICDF Empowers 50 Women During Skills Training

A group of fifty women is now better equipped to launch their own business ventures following an eight-week skills training course. Peace Work Belize and the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund partnered to organize classes in cake making, jewellery making, sewing, pedicure and manicure. The exercise officially came to an end today with a certification ceremony where the graduates were recognized and given the opportunity to share testimonials before an audience of family, friends and fellow classmates. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

This morning, a total of forty-six women graduated from an Empowered and Resilient Women Training Course hosted by Peace Work Belize and the Taiwan ICDF. During the training, these women from across the Belize District were equipped with a variety of marketable skills that can lead to self-employment.


Jenna Mckay

Jenna Mckay, Graduate, Empowered and Resilient Women Program

“Honestly, I didn’t know anything about baking cake. Thanks to my teacher, Ms. Jenny. She taught, she taught us a lot about cake. The first thing I thought she taught us and told us that when we mek this chocolate cake, they will tell us it is pack cake. And it was true as the first time I mek my pack. I mean my scratch cake sorry, it was like pack cake cause I carry it home and my baby pa said, this taste like pack cake. I tell ah this dah nuh pack cake this dah scratch. I will take my opportunity. To carry it to my community cuz I have nobody of our community, bake cake, take my opportunity and my skills, I learn and take it up there and open my own business and start a business, and start to sell. I will sell slices. I will sell whole kit, birthday cake, Christmas party wedding. You name deh I wah have deh.”


Celi Robateau

Celi Robateau, Graduate, Empowered and Resilient Women Program

“I would just like to say thanks a lot from this program. I even start my own business. I never wanted to come to this but my dad encouraged me and I appreciate it cause I really learned a lot. I mek my own business. I started with my best friend Chloe, and I learned how to make bracelets and my pah wah help me. And I just wanna say thank Miss Carol because she helped me a lot during this.”


Shahera Young was also among the women who successfully completed the training. She says she entered the pedicure and manicure classes with no knowledge in the field. She has since been empowered with the confidence to start her own venture.


Shahera Young

Shahera Young, Graduate, Empowered and Resilient Women Program

“Bear in mind, I don’t have no knowledge of what I was supposed to do. I was scared and didn’t know if I would do well. As the week progressed, I became more confident and more comfortable in what I was doing and that is thanks to the amazing mentor, I would like her to stand up and give her applause, Ms Sharon Tillett. Pedicure taught me how to relax, putting your mind at ease. It boosts myself confident because that makes my field looks great. It also a mental health benefit as it courage my well. As I end off resilience is the ability to bounce back in the fears of challenges, losses, and adversity. This is not the end for all us women. It is only the beginning of something great. Women can, women will. Thank you.”


The keynote speaker at today’s event was Henry Charles Usher, the Minister of Public Service. Usher recounted the work ethics he learnt while employed by his grandmother, Jane Usher, the founder of the credit union movement in Belize.


Henry Charles Usher

Henry Charles Usher, Area Representative, Fort George

“This program has taught you or improved in you a marketable skill. It is now up to you to market it. I know it may seem challenging and there will be frustrations and setbacks, but you are no masters of your own destinies. You don’t have to wait for a job to be available. I’m sure you have heard the saying, when opportunity knocks, you must answer. While I’m here to tell you that sometimes opportunity doesn’t knock. You might have to build the door so that opportunity knocks on your door. I count attend this morning, and we spoke about this earlier without mentioning the most powerful, resilient woman the most get it done, damn the consequences, let’s go woman I have ever known, Dr. Jane Usher, my grandmother. Some of you, I think the mc said that women are coming for us men. Well, I can tell you this. I grew up in that house with Jane Usher. It was us men that had to keep up with her. It wasn’t the other way around. We had to keep up with her. She went to work earliest. She got there around six in the morning and she left the latest every day until she was over a hundred years old. And if you got to work one minute late and walked in, she would say, ah-huh son, what happened? She say, I am forty-five years older than you and you are getting late for work. I said, but I said, but gran, she said, nuh gran this. She said, I’m your boss. I say, sorry, manager.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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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