And speaking of sexual abuse of children, in 2013, Belizean students were introduced to the book “My Body Is Precious,” co-written by Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow and formerDirector of Community Rehabilitation Department in the Ministry of Human Development Starla Acosta. It concerns the issue of sexual misbehavior with children, colloquially called “Good Touch/Bad Touch.” After nearly
two years of national tours promoting the book’s use in schools, the Special Envoy’s Office, financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is rolling out a series of animated films based on the book in local languages Maya and Garifuna as well as English. Simplis-Barrow told us more at the launch today at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts.
“We know that talking about sexual abuse is not the easiest of things to do; not for parents and not for teachers. Therefore we made this book into a very child friendly book, but also a book that would make it comfortable for parents and teachers to share with their students and their children. The ‘My Body is Precious ‘ book was submitted for an award last year, the IDB ALAS Award, which is spearheaded by the Shakira and we are very pleased to find out that the book came in second place regionally for Central America and South America out of 14. And out the Caribbean, the whole of Latin America. Out of how many submitted?… I think it was like thousands. Anyway, out of that came this collaboration with IDB where we were like, ‘ Well we would like to print more, we drafted yup about 12. This is a book only in English, we have Spanish speaking children in Belize, we have Garifuna, we have Maya.’ And this is how the birth of the animation came and immediately IDB jumped on it and they wanted to partner with us.
The films will be distributed through both traditional media and with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education and Youth in schools directly. Participating schools in narration and voice acting included Belmopan’s own Garden City Primary School for the English-language film and Kuxlin Ha Government School for the Maya-language version. The Garifuna-language version featured students from Gulisi Community Primary School in Dangriga. We also spoke with IDB Belize representative Anneke Jensen.
“This is an initiative, of course , lead by the Special Envoy For Women and Children in Belize, and we the Inter-American Development Bank, are very happy to have been allowed to support this imitative. It is about teaching children about ‘good touch – bad touch.’ We are happy to be here, it s a wonderful initiative and we are especially happy that the book and the video are available. The video is available in English and Maya and Garifuna and we hpope we can also support the Spanish project soon.