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Building Adaptive Capacity and Resilience to Climate Change Project, Belize

R aising public awareness involves creating a specific messag-


ing campaign about a particular issue or issues. Awareness-raising
is an important part of developing community support for changes and it
has been shown change knowledge and attitudes. As a part of the
“Building Adaptive Capacity and Resilience to Climate Change in South-
ern Toledo” project, the team has engaged in an awareness campaign
through movie nights, guest speaker presentations and question and an-
swer sessions in the communities that highlight the following issues:
• Gender Sensitization
• Solid Waste Management
• Disaster Risk Reduction – Fire Safety
• Climate Change and Climate Smart Agriculture.
As a part of the disaster risk reduction aspect of the campaign and consid-
ering the remoteness distance away from the main urban areas, one area
of focus was fire safety. Why fire safety? Well, because fire safe-
ty information saves lives. Whether it's in the home or place of employ-
ment or education, fire safety information can prevent injuries and save
structures as long as people are well aware of everything they need to
know. The fire safety presentations were done by Mr. Grant Perez, Inde-
pendence Fire Chief along with volunteers who modeled fire safety ma-
neuvers. Participants were asked various questions and awarded certifi-
cates.
For the solid waste component of the event, Humana collaborated with
Solid Waste Management Belize, Independence Junior College and volun-
teers to share information and demonstrations. We believe that this is an
important topic because as the society is much more aware of the envi-
ronment there are often many challenges faced with the manage-
ment of solid waste. Ultimately the team focused on the concept of Re-
duce, Reuse and Recycle as an instrumental and positive approach way of
managing waste in the communities. The solid waste presentations were
done by Ms. Lyann Flowers and Ms. Vanessa Martinez along with assis-
tance from Mr. Abimael Bol, Mr. Andrew Che, and Mr. Kenny Cal.
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Continuation...
Another topic covered at the movie nights is gender sensitiza-
tion where we share the importance of gender sensitivity
and gender equality. Our main message is about equal opportunity
and to create an awareness aimed at changing behavior so individu-
als are sensitive to certain issues like gender justice and gender
equality. This issue is an important issue since it is interlinked
with gender empowerment. Our aim is to help those in the commu-
nities to examine their personal attitudes and beliefs and question-
ing the 'realities' they think they know about gender issues. The
presentation on gender sensitization was done through showing
various short videos followed by question and answer sessions.
The final presentation focuses on Climate Change and Climate
Smart agriculture formulated from work developed Mr. David Pere-
ra and Elizabeth Muschamp. This issue was addressed because we
have recognized that the communities’ livelihoods are being affect-
ed by the impact of natural hazards and climate related risks. In the
past the residents have been resilient through the utilization of in-
digenous knowledge. However with climate change and consequent
rapid changes in weather patterns, it has reduced their effective-
ness of their adaptive capacity. The presentation highlighted the
impacts cause by humans on climate change and agriculture and
stressed that to overcome the challenges it requires a shift in cur-
rent agricultural systems to climate smart approaches through the
integration of measures aimed at increasing resilience to the im-
pacts of Climate change. Hopefully, we have established that cli-
mate change is something worth caring and doing something about.
At the end of all the presentations and question and answer ses-
sions, the nights culminate in the showcasing of the movie Rio 2.
The movie focuses on the impact of the deforestation of the Amazon
which threatens the animals that live there. It’s a clear eco message
that shows the importance of the forest.
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Pass on loan program

C hild Aid Project, Belize has a program called "pass on loan" under line 1:
Strengthening the economy of the family, whereby the project provides the
family with a pair of animals (sheep or pig) as a loan. After the animals have gotten
young ones, the family pays off the loan by giving back two young ones to another
family indicated by the Program officer responsible for that area, either from the
same community or another. With this program the families are able to generate
extra income. There have been positive impacts on the families under this program
whereby some families have been able to create their local business, others get
food from raising these animals saving money and using the money in something
else at their homes and for their children and others expand by selling and buying
more animals.

With the support from Ministry of Agriculture the families have been provided
with technical assistance and animal vaccinations on a regular basis.

Active kids’ clubs

C hildren are the future of tomorrow, having this is mind it is important


to know and take action in educating our children as much as possible.
The Child aid project promotes kids’ clubs in all participating communities of
Toledo. Presently there are 3 clubs in one single community, Bella Vista
with 60> members in the clubs. Children are engaged in different activities
such as painting, drawing, nutrition lessons, hands and crafts with recycle
materials, sewing, sports (football, races, other children games), gardening
and raising chicken. We believe that age is not a limitation in learning and
doing outdoors work like making beds or weeding the vegetable garden.

Children are like a sponge which absorbs what is being thought to them, the
Program office takes the duty of teaching them a variety of positive and con-
structive things in order to use their free time wisely. For the theory ses-
sions, a ‘kids’ club manual’ is being used which contains topics like our coun-
try’s landscape, people and maps, health for all at our school, keeping myself
clean, 10 rules of hygiene, healthy environment, how to be a healthy kid, the
food pyramid, eating from all the colors, the danger of eating sugar, 12 rules
to know about road safety, learning traffic signs, ecosystems, practicing
good manners, doing good things for people, our planet, protecting myself
from strangers and much more. Humana People to People Belize is glad to
have a lot of children involved in the different activities carried out for them
and by them in the communities and schools.
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Finalization of the Girls’ and Mothers’ Club project

T he Girls’ and Mothers’ Club - Nutrition and Health project


started on March 2017 and ended on February 2018. The pro-
ject targeted four impoverish communities in Toledo district - Indian
Creek, Jordan, Santa Teresa, and Aguacate. These communities are
active with the Child Aid Toledo project under Humana People to
People Belize. At the end of the one-year project we were able to
see improvement when it comes to knowledge and habits of 40 girls
and 40 mothers whom were educated about reproductive health,
sanitation and nutrition according to the manuals that were used by
the clubs on a weekly basis. Each month the groups had a topic/
headline whereby the lessons, actions and cooking demonstrations
were carried out according to that headline. Some of the actions
that were done by the clubs such as the establishment of the com-
mon vegetable gardens and green houses, the chicken to produce
eggs, visits to the local clinic and checkups by community health
workers, community cleaning campaigns for malaria/ dengue pre-
vention, establishment of Moringa nurseries by each group, estab-
lishment of washing hand facilities outside green houses, household
visits by group members, school actions like presentations by girls’
clubs and sporting events (football and volleyball).

The manuals that were used for sessions to the Mothers and Girls
clubs were successfully completed in the course of one year. The
feedback from the 80 members concerning of the topics been
taught were rewarding because they apply now a lot of what they
learned in their daily life routines especially in the consumption of
nutritious foods like vegetables from their own organic gardens and
Moringa leaves or like the girls talking a bit more openly about re-
productive health and their own bodies and girls and women in gen-
eral seeking help from the local health worker at an earlier than be-
fore stage of need. A notable result from the project is that health
workers in the 4 communities are much more involved with specially
the women in the communities – which benefits both women, chil-
dren and men.
Humana People to People Belize would like to thanks Australian
High Commission for the support and trust given to us in implement
this project which benefited four communities in Toledo, Belize.
Mothers Day celebration in Red Bank Page 5

T raditionally, Humana People to People Belize celebrates all


mothers on their special day. This year, May 10th was not an
exception, the mother’s day celebration took place in one of the
most active communities in southern Stann Creek, Red Bank. There
are two mothers groups in the community with thirty five members
in each group; they plan and organized the event with the guidance
of their program officer and Development Instructors who are pres-
ently working in the community. The main purposed of the celebra-
tion was to bring more members in the groups and educate them in
some lessons that were shared before the ‘fun part’ started. The les-
son that was provided by the Development Instructors included
topics like family planning, nutrition and healthy life style on a pow-
er point presentation which was given at the beginning of the event
followed by questions and answers based on the topics. The moth-
ers enjoyed participating in the variety of games, completions and
winning prizes.

Development Instructors in Belize

C hild Aid Toledo welcomes the Development Instructions to the project who
are presently working in Red Bank Village, in the southern Stann Creek Dis-
trict for the next 6 months. Here is their introduction:

“Hi, my name is Marco Toso, was born in Austria (Europe) and lived the last years
in Switzerland and Brazil. My professions are hairdresser, agent for a life insur-
ance, waiter, barista and receptionist. Now I am a development instructor for Hu-
mana People to People Belize in Red Bank. To volunteer in Belize is part of our 18
month program. 6 month we had been trained in St. Vincent about permaculture,
nutrition, health and much more. Now I am for 6 months in Belize to support the
community with cooking workshops, building new home garden, start a battery
collection system and more. End of September we are supposed to go back to the
Richmond Vale Academy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to finish our journal
period. I join this program because it is an unique opportunity to live and help
people in a different way. Instead of donating money to a big organization I bring
in myself. Like this it is possible to exchange experience and knowledge, probably
I learn more then I can teach but totally enjoy Belize and just can recommend to
everybody to join Humana People o People Belize”.
Continuation... Page 6

“My name is Maria, I am from Europe, Latvia. I am a student in Richmondvale


Academy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and as a part of our studies I am
doing volunteer work together with Humana People to People Belize.

Since March till late September I work in Red Bank village together with other
volunteer from the same Richmondvale Academy. Mostly we work around
waste management. Garbage is a real problem in Belize, in Red Bank people are
mostly burning it, which is not a solution! We did permaculture design course,
we have some knowledge about plants, soil, composting, mulching, so we are
building gardens, planting, assisting families in different questions. We made a
tree nursery, when trees will get bigger we will give them out to the families. We
organised movie evening, cooking and painting workshops, clean-ups. There is a
lot of work to be done in the Red Bank village. Doing our best to make at least
small changes”.

Humana People to People is grateful to have student volunteers in Belize who


come to work shoulder to shoulder with the needed families in Toledo. Marco
and Maria have been doing a good work in promoting recycling in their
community and recently they made a video in collaboration with students and
teachers from Red Bank primary school to compete in a contest that the
Department of Environment held for the primary schools to compete for one
thousand dollars prize. Luckily, their video was first prize winner of the
competition and the thousand dollars will be used by the school to repair the
classrooms.

Other activities which the Development Instructors and program officer have
been doing is encaging women in back yard gardening and Moringa tree
nurseries. In Red Bank there are many mothers that are unemployed for several
reasons, three of the main reasons are lock of employment; not having someone
to take care of their children and lock of transport. The community is distanced
from the highway where public transport is available anytime during the day,
however because of the location into the mountains it is difficult to access
services in the community. The only means of transport owns a motorcycle or a
vehicle in order to reach to work or high schools and even hospitals by locals of
the community which makes it difficult for mothers to go out and work.
However, mothers seek other ways in generate income without leaving home,
like planting their own vegetables and sell, others by engaging in fundraising
activities or raising chicken. Every day is a new challenge for these hard working
mothers.

Red Bank
Village

4.5 Km

Southern
Highway
Page 7

H umana People to People Belize started the year with great news
and a new project called “Strengthen Empower Enforce Human
Rights” SeeHR is co-funded by the European Union through the Europe-
an Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and Humana
People to People Belize, in partnership with the Belize Family Life Asso-
ciation (BFLA) with the technical assistance of the Human Rights Com-
mission of Belize (HRCB).

The project targets families- Women, Men, Youth, Community Leaders,


Vulnerable Groups, Indigenous Mayas, and Immigrants in 10 Rural Com-
munities. One in Stann Creek which is Cowpen and 9 in Toledo which
are:
• Bella Vista
 San Isidro, Trio
 Bladen
 Indian Creek
 Medina Bank
 Silver Creek
 Golden Stream
 San Miguel
Within a time frame of 3 years the main objective of the project is to im-
prove the overall well-being of the population by enhancing knowledge
and awareness of Human Rights and contributing to ensuring their pro-
tection.

The specific objective relates to the promotion of Human Rights and


gender equality through the mobilization and training of local authori-
ties, community leaders and community members to empower women,
men, youths and immigrants to improve their knowledge on human
rights and reduce sexual and gender based violence, abuse and discrimi-
nation in Southern Belize.

On the other hand this project directly addresses the promotion of equal
rights for all including the defence victims of abuse and the fight against
discrimination based on any grounds against vulnerable groups based on
gender, social origin, disability, sexual orientation or indigenous origin.
The protection of women’s rights especially against sexual and gender
based violence and marginalization (the rights of indigenous women are
also included) and the prevention of sexual, physical and emotional
abuse of children and youth through gender sensitive, behavioural
change and psycho-social support.

Human rights vulnerabilities, particularly of women, children and immi-


grants are identified and the current gaps in public services and re-
sources as well as capacity building needs of duty bearers and right hold-
ers are assessed. During the 1st year of the project we will be dedicated
to identify and establish the project curriculum on the topics Equal
Rights, Women’s Rights, Children’s Rights, Gender Based Violence,
Abuse, Social Equality, Sexual and Reproductive health, Domestic Vio-
lence, Personal Empowerment, Discrimination and Marginalization.
Page 8

T he SeeHR Project was launched on 14th March 2018 at the


Child Aid Office in Bella Vista. Immediately after the launching
of the project the baseline survey in 10 communities began. The first
day the Project Manager held a training with the Team that conduct-
ed the survey. The first community was Trio Village with individuals
from the team going house to house conducting the survey. This was
followed by the village of Bladen. We completed the Baseline Survey
in the last community of Silver Creek on the 18h May, 2018. When
all surveys were completed in all 10 communities that was when the
data entry started. The process of the data entry was very vigorous,
whereby each survey was entered into a spread sheet per communi-
ty. Each community had a target of how the survey should be con-
ducted based on its individual population.

We are now in the process of finalizing the baseline analysis per


community and doing one summary of all 10 communities combined,
which will be published shortly. Our future goals are to present the
findings to the co-partners Belize Family Life Association BFLA and
Human Rights Commission of Belize HRCB. Thereafter the Training
Manual for trainers will be conducted and training in all 10 commu-
nities will commence. In the future we plan to have school and com-
munities participate in Open days, School debates, poster competi-
tions within the school and the communities, variety shows and
movies nights just to name a few.
Page 9

School fundraising action in San Pablo, Toledo


San Pablo village is a remote community in Toledo where there is a
need for class rooms. In an effort to assist with the completion of a
school building, Humana People to People Belize took a step forward
in fully organizing an open day as a fundraising action with the school
teachers and Parents Teachers Association. The Second hand Clothes
project donated clothes to the school in order to sell and obtain in-
come for the school. Also a youth football marathon was organized
and prizes was provided for the first and second place winners. There
were games for children to enjoy and win prizes as well and the raffle
of a Bicycle by the lucky winner Carolina Rash. Humana Belize appre-
ciates the support of ~300 people that came out to support this action
in interest of the primary school.

Strengthening the economy of the families in Toledo

T he work under line 1 that Child Aid Toledo has been working
on have created a huge impact in the lives of active families
that have enrolled in the different activities carried on in this line.
Some of the most active activities in line 1 are: families with initia-
tive income generating activities, village action groups supported
with garden tools for vegetable production, families trained in
small scale vegetable production/ organic farming, common vege-
table gardens in the community, families in pass on loans, families
trained in animal husbandry, and families trained in small business
management . The target for this year is to enroll 710 families in
these specific activities and provide 4,500 trainings/ sessions about
organic farming, animal husbandry and business management.
The main objective of this line as the name conveys is to generate
income for the families who are struggling in their financial situa-
tion. Many factors contributes to the instability of their economy,
such as unemployment, low wages, expanded families living togeth-
er, single parents, lock of resources (land, tools or seeds) and more;
this is why the families are provided with basic budgeting lessons
and diverse trainings to strengthen their economy and encourage
to continue practicing raising, selling and buying more chicken
when the project provides chicks for them to raise.
Page 10

Humana People to People Belize is a member of a network of


32 organizations engaged in international solidarity, cooperation and
HUMANA PEOPLE development in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
TO PEOPLE The development work of the Humana People to People Movement
BELIZE is rooted in a commitment to fight alongside The Poor in a collective
process that supports people to make changes, solve problems and
improve their lives.

Monkey River Road,


Toledo District,
Belize Central America.
PO BOX 1728, Belize City

Phone: (+501) 678 99 43


Email: Info@humana-belize.org
www.humana-belize.org
www.humana.org

Country Director: Susanne Jensen


Email: susanne.j@humana-belize.org

Project Manager: Clothes and Shoes: Jaime Barrientos


Email: Jaime.b@humana-belize.org

Project Manager: Child Aid Toledo: Pantaleon Escobar


Email: Pantaleon@humana-belize.org

Project Manager: CDRRF/Farmers Club: Elizabeth Muschamp


Email: Elizabeth.m@humana-belize.org

Project Manager: Strengthen Empower Enforce Human Rights: Indira Williams


Email: indira.w@humana-belize.org

Grant Management and Content Material: Cindy Rodezno


Email: cindy@humana-belize.org

Partnership & Promotion: Ishelly Williams & Andrea Perez


Email: Ishelly.w@humana-belize.org , Andrea.p@humana-belize.org

SHOPS ADDRESSES:

Dangriga Town, Commerce Street, Stann Creek District


Santa Cruz, (beside the football field), Stann Creek District
Independence (Mango Creek), Toucan Street, Stann Creek District.
Bella Vista, (in front of A&A Supermarket) Toledo District
Placencia, (Main road, beside Scotia Bank) Stann Creek District
Punta Gorda Shop ( George Street, Punta Gorda Town) Toledo District