UNESCO Launches two Regional Poverty Projects in Punta Gorda, Belize
UNESCO will launch two regional poverty projects in Belize on May 18 at a ceremony that will take place at the Parish Hall in Punta Gorda, Toledo District. The event will be held in the presence of Hon. Said Musa, Prime Minister of Belize as well as other representatives of Government and NGO partners.
The projects to be launched aim to alleviate poverty in the Caribbean following UNESCO's overall mandate to contribute to the development of education, science, culture and the development of knowledge societies.
The first project addresses poverty in isolated indigenous communities using integrated community media and the creation of multimedia products as the focus for a sustainable human development strategy. The purpose is to reduce isolation of the indigenous communities by providing access to ICT training and infrastructure, and enabling the development of local content in integrated community media. The programme will be implemented in Belize, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname. Focus will be on the specific situations of the indigenous peoples on the Caribbean region. A collaborative partnership has been established for implementation of the programme in Belize with the Belize Indigenous Training Institute as well as the Mayan Leaders Alliance, the Tumul Kin Centre of Learning in Blue Creek and the Hamalali Garinagu Radio in Dangriga.
The second project, entitled "Youth Poverty Alleviation Through Tourism and Heritage" (Youth PATH), is a UNESCO initiative designed to enable young people ages 15 to 25 to utilize innovative skills for sustainable employment in the area of Heritage Tourism and preservation of Heritage Sites. More than 15 young people are trained in Punta Gorda in areas such as tour guiding, diving, marketing of community cultural and heritage sites, entrepreneurial skills and ICT. Belize is one of the three new countries that joined this programme in 2004. The others being Dominica and Suriname where indigenous groups are also benefiting from the programme.
In connection with these events, from May 18 to 21, more than persons from six countries are expected at a workshop at the Tumul Kin Centre of Learning in Blue Creek within the framework of the ICTs project for indigenous communities. The purpose of this workshop is to train persons on ICT and various self-training resources, and sensitizing the trainees to problems and situations of their local environment thus facilitate their application to local content of the communities involved using one or several media in an integrated way.
This workshop is part of the participatory project management approach carried out by UNESCO. This approach gives the participants the possibility to share ideas, experiences, best practices and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the projects. This interaction will provide the opportunity to define the way forward, reinforcing the focus on project results.