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May 29, 2012

YWCA gets $1.7 Million for women projects

Close to two million dollars will be spent on women development projects in rural communities over the next thirty-four months.  With a good track record in project execution, the European Union is doubling its funding to the Young Women’s Christian Association to the tune of one point seven million dollars. Government is expected to throw in another million dollars for the initiatives to hone the entrepreneurial skills of women. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.


Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The YWCA’s project to expand economic opportunities for women was given a boost with a grant from the European Union totaling one point seven million dollars. The funds will aid to develop programs in several districts.


Regina Campbell, YWCA Project Director

Regina Campbell

“This project will take place in four districts here in Belize and the idea behind the project is the sustainability of economic opportunities for women and youth. Specifically we are looking at four different areas. One area is to create marketing plans; business plans for women that have expressed interest in started their own business or have already started their own business. We’ll have on site, as well as, in-district training, skill development, how to market your products, as well as, entrepreneurial skills so that we can help women to be more employable.”


Sonia Linares, General Secretary, YWCA

“Over the past fifty-six years, we have been doing just that—empowering women and youth to live a better quality of life. And we were fortunate in 2008 when we were given a grant of one point million dollars through this very B.R.D.P. project to work with rural women throughout five districts of Belize. And we once more submitted our project proposal and we are now granted another amount for us to continue our work and this time, we will be working in four districts of Belize—only in the rural communities however.”


Sonia Linares

Jose Sanchez

“The success of the first grant you received; can you tell us a little bit about that?”


Sonia Linares

“Yes, I am very happy to say that we were able to train over two hundred women. Many of them are able to live a better quality of life. They start their own business, some of them found employment, some of them just out of their own homes are able to sew or prepare food, start their own childcare center and many different things that help them to help themselves and their families.”


Paola Amadei

Ambassador Paola Amadei of the European Union signed a memorandum with the YWCA officials. She has faith in the organization’s initiatives because of past successes.


Ambassador Paola Amadei, European Union 

“The previous project was a smaller project around three hundred thousand Euros. This new project more than doubles the amount which means that along the way, the organization has been able to gain more experience, more expertise and has been able to put on our table a more complex proposal and to do it successfully. So I think we have to congratulate YWCA for having done so and also for having focused on an area which is so crucial—not to just here in Belize, but worldwide.”


Regina Campbell

“The entire project is three years. We start our training sessions this fall where like I said, we’ll have on sight training here at the Y as well as in different districts. We will also begin within the next month; contracting contractors to go out and do assessments: what current businesses are out there? How sustainable are those businesses? So that will begin in the next couple months. We will also be building a new building in Belmopan—that construction will take place over the summer as well. So by end of this year, you will see some results of this project.”


The unveiling of a plaque on this training facility is concrete evidence of the Y’s increasing capacity to house women development initiatives with use of E.U. Funds. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.


As part of the project, a building will be constructed in the capital for training. 

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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