The Belize Youth and Road Safety Capacity Building Project known as YOURS saw 19 young men and women graduate from the two weeks training program this afternoon at the George Price Center in Belmopan.
The Program which is being jointly funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Belize. It is being implemented through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Road Safety Unit and the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports hopes to reach 2,000 Belizean youth between the ages of 16-29. Minister of Education and Youth Patrick Faber told us why target the Youths.
“This particular activity is very important because it engages the young people. The majority of our population is made up of young people, and if we are to make any change at all, difficult as Road Safety Implementation is in this country, I think they have started on the right foot by trying to get to the browse, through inspiring our young people to go out and to share with other young people and create a culture for national road safety”.
In the First week of training the participants were engaged in extensive training being facilitated by the Global Youth Network for Road Safety. In the second week the participants engaged with youths as they began to put thought into practice. According to the Program Director Floor Leishout the next steps are in the hands of these 19 graduates, however they will not be alone.
“They are now trained facilitators and they are going to spread the road safety message throughout the entire country of Belize”.
Reporter Emanuel Pech: “How will they take on this initiative?”
Floor Lieshout: “Well, they will go into their school system and they will plan workshops with our young people. So, basically, they are going to do workshops with 25 young people and they will train them on Road Safety”.
Reporter Emanuel Pech: “How will they go about doing this? Are they on their own now?”
Floor Lieshout: “No, they have the full support of the Government of Belize, the Caribbean Development Bank and YOURS Youth Road Safety. They will be given the technical guidance if they have any technical questions on road safety, we will support them where we can, be in communication throughout Facebook and we have another mechanism in place; we will be very much in touch and we will have their backs when they need us”.
Glen McCarvell of the Caribbean Development bank told us why they are spending millions of dollars on such an initiative
“Well, youth are one of the most affected groups that are being injured and killed in Road Safety and road traffic accidents around the world and in particular in Belize where 30% of our people being killed who are between the ages of 16-25. Out of that groups, almost 90% of those are young males”.
This program, which is the first of its kind in the region, is also an experiment which if successful will be implemented in other countries in the region.