Paul Mahung reporting...
“A memorandum of understanding for a grant project in Toledo was signed yesterday in Punta Gorda. The grant project entitled “Sustainable jobs for coastal Toledo Communities” was signed at the Toledo Teachers Credit Union Office. Of the three authorizing organizations involved, signing for Compact Belize was Programme Coordinator Leonel Requena.

Leonel Requena – Programme Coordinator
“COMPACT is providing grant funding to Plenty Belize to implement a project entitled Sustainable jobs for coastal Communities in Toledo. This project is for $100,000.00 and it is geared towards empowering 15 fishing families in Toledo to implement small business enterprises, projects geared towards improving their sustainability and livelihood activities in the region. ”

Signing on behalf of Plenty Belize was its Executive Director Mark Miller.

Mark Miller – Executive Director, Plenty Belize
“This project Sustainable jobs for coastal Communities in Toledo will assist 15 fishing families from beginning to end in helping to start or expand small businesses that are sustainable that gives them alternative to relying solely on fishing as an income source for themselves and their families. We will be holding some public meeting with fishing families to encourage them to explain the program to them and to apply. The applications will be screened by a steering committee that will be made up from a representative from TIDE and Toledo Fishermen Association who knows the fishing families very well, a representative from Plenty running hew program, a representative from the Toledo Teachers Credit Union that will assist with the loan part of this program and from COMPACT as the funder. Those who are chosen will be given a series of training bookkeeping, budgeting, business planning, and other things to help them plan out the business they have in mind. From that it will come back to the steering committee where they will choose the 15 who will receive assistance in getting their business going and that will come in part grant, part loan.”

Roberto Sho signed on behalf of the Toledo Teachers Credit Union. Plans are for three public information meetings to be held shortly as dates and venue are yet to be finalized and announced. Interested persons in the meantime can obtain related information at Plenty Belize Office in PG.