The National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today handed over a grant of BZ$51,175.53 to RESTORE Belize, the arm of the Government of Belize which coordinates social response, for its “Peace in the Park” Initiative, a means of reaching out to troubled youths to address the crime situation in Belize. Started in 2011, it develops and supports initiatives in education and culture by community organizations with the backdrop of local parks and playgrounds. Reverend Dr. Rudolph Anthony is the Secretary General to the UNESCO National Commission.
RUDOLPH ANTHONY- Secrtary General, UNESCO Belize
“UNESCO gives these initiatives every two years- every biennium. And so Roger is to use this cheque wisely and effectively- January 2016, they can apply for another project. So if we prioritize it and it’s worth it, for Belize and RESTORE Belize and South Side Belize , they can be approved again because nobody says they can’t be approve a third time and a fourth time and a so forth.”
ROGER BRADLEY – Senior Program Officer, Restore Belize
“The check will be used for the Peace in the Parks initiatives which was started sometime in 2011. It is a social inclusion program geared towards providing education and cultural activities, especially to our neighbourhood parks that have been seriously impacted by crime. We will be supporting the Days of Healing, we will be supporting the YAATA group under Joseph ” Stomp” Romero, they have just produced a place… and any other activity that deals with cultural and park activities that we can identify. We will also be working on drama workshops and working with teaching our young children and young people to learn about drama. It’s a way of relieving some of the stress and some of the difficult times- helping them, it’s a self-esteem building exercise to get involve with drama. And when you see the young people get involved with … they are young people growing up in some of those same neighbourhoods trying to walk a straight path and make ends meet…”
This is the second grant awarded to RESTORE Belize in the last two years and the organization will be working with other organizations to carry out its goals. Roger Bradley, Senior Program Officer from RESTORE Belize, tells us more. The organization will be asked to complete a valuation report to be sent to UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, France, detailing how the monies will be spent. Following the official handing over we spoke with President of the Belize UNESCO National Commission and Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Patrick Faber.
Hon. PATRICK FABER- Minister of Education, Youth and Sports.
“RESTORE Belize is a Government of Belize- and we, as I have said just now applaud the efforts. I think they have been doing very silently, sometimes- I think they don’t blow their horns enough, but very silently they are assisting the community, particularly here in Belize City to eradicate some of the very difficult situations that exist and so this initiative of Peace in the Parks will help to alleviate some of these conditions, give our young people especially some positive alternatives. I am particularly pleased to hear about the drama that will be a part of this initiative, because I think that that has died down in our community. It was once very much alive and it has gone away so I think that with this kind of injection, we can see a lot more talent be promoted in Belize and at the same time we are able to deal with the issue of crime and violence which are of course very prevalent in this city.”
RESTORE Belize began in June of 2010 following the sensational shooting of attorney Rodwell Williams near his law office in Belize City.