The United States Embassy recently awarded US$450,000 in grants to nine Belizean organizations working to improve communities and citizen safety. The presentation of the grants was held on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 at 10:00 AM at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan.
The grants issued were made possible through efforts of the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). All Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) recipients of the grants were present along with an embassy official available for questions.
Among the organizations that received grants were; Strengthening Youth Security led by Caracol Youth Communication Development. This project emphasizes art education and community development for vulnerable youth populations in borer areas such as Benque, Cristo Rey and Arenal. The grant was for $90,000.00.
Youth Voices, led by Global Parish received $77,800. Youth Voices is a project that seeks to empower at-risk youth and focuses on art and filmmaking education. This project hopes to improve skills and community building through training and a participatory arts program including digital video, documentary filmmaking, and poetry. This project will be primarily located in Belize City, with workshops throughout the country. Nyasha Laing is the Project Director.
Asset Based Community Development led by the Center for Community Resource Development (CCRD) received $40,410. This initiative fosters grassroots economic stability through social and economic development of high-risk neighborhoods. This organization seeks to develop youth leaders and business entrepreneurs. This project hopes to focus on the Lake Independence Neighborhood in Belize City.
Central Christian School Vocational Training Center led by Assemblies of God of Belize received $7629. This program provides vocational training for both parents and students at the school in areas such as: sewing, computer, home economics, gardening and after school reading programs.
Crime Stoppers Community Outreach Programs led by Crime Stoppers received $100,000. This is a two-year project that is a public awareness outreach program. It develops community involvement and activities designed to prevent crimes, assist in reporting crimes and engage the at-risk youth and community.
The Humane Education Program led by the Belmopan Humane Society, received $10,875. This is a two-hour-per-week after-school educational program involving animals and targeting at-risk youth. It intends to reduce the level of violence through care and respect of animals.
The Institutional Strengthening of the Helping Early Leavers Program led by YWCA received $50,000 USD. This program provides vocational training to women ages 13-18 years old in the areas of sewing, cosmetology and life skills and will augment the skill-based training programs at the YWCA.
Innovations to improve post-harvest technology and the income of white maize and black bean producers led by the Toledo Cacao Growers Association received US$46,320. This grant will assist with innovations to increase maize and black bean harvest. The funding targets local farmers and small communities to improve the economic stability in the southern Toledo District, specifically in the villages of Jalacte and San Vicente.
Youth Chess Program led by the Belize National Youth Chess Foundation received US$26,966. This program targets at-risk youth from across the country between the ages of 5-14 years old. Chess and chess events are used as teaching tools to develop logic, life skills, team building, and effective choices and thought processes and focuses country wide.