$165,750 for Restore Belize programs from Vatican Diplomatic Mission

[Linked Image] RESTORE Belize has received a generous donation of $60,753.34 Euros from the Apostolic Nunciature of Prague, the Vatican's diplomatic mission in the Czech Republic. The local value of the donation is 165,720 Belize dollars. The donor has provided this assistance to be used specifically for "disadvantaged children and schools in Belize."

RESTORE Belize is currently designing a series of educational programmes to be implemented in schools with the help of these funds. The focus will be on broadening and improving the educational experience of school children with an ultimate aim to improve academic performance and encourage children to stay in school. As such, this programme addresses some of the core issues currently affecting young Belizeans, namely the need for a broader range of educational and recreational opportunities, as well as early academic support in core subjects.

The first programme being implemented with this funding is the "Over the Top" After-School Programme at the St. John Vianney Primary School. The programme started on November 16 and currently runs from 1:30pm to 5:00pm.

The primary focus of the programme is to improve literacy and overall academic performance in young children. One hour per day of the after-school programme is dedicated solely to literacy tutoring. This tutoring is being delivered by student volunteers who were recruited from St. Catherine Academy, Edward P. Yorke High School and St. John's College. These students were trained by the Ministry of Education to teach literacy to primary school students. The literacy training materials were developed by the Belize Literacy Unit of the Ministry of Education. The after-school programme also includes other activities designed to stimulate childhood development. In its first week, the programme has attracted over 40 children from the classes of Infant II to Standard VI.

With the help of this donation, RESTORE Belize will develop additional school-based programmes, which will focus on literacy, nutrition, and extracurricular activities such as sports, scouting, expressive arts and handicrafts. The approach will be to enhance children's lives, provide nurturing support for their development, and guide them towards positive lifestyles and healthy choices.

The funding was made possible through the work of the Mission of Belize to the European Communities who represented the needs of the Belizean children to the Apostolic Nunciature of Prague and successfully negotiated the donation of this gift to the children and schools of Belize.

As part of its mandate, RESTORE Belize continues to seek national and international partnerships and to gather resources to address the underlying social factors that contribute to crime and violence in our society.


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