Known for providing many impactful courses and projects for over the past sixty years being in Belize, the Young Women’s Christian Association, YWCA, in May of this year, launched their new project, Addressing Human Rights for More Equitable Development, ARHMED. Today, Kiri Lizama, the project coordinator of YWCA’s AHRMED, explained what the project’s mission is really about and who it’s geared towards.
Kiri Lizima: “It’s really dealing with Human rights; Human rights from an international perspective and what that really means in the Belizean context and advocacy. Doing advocacy sessions on human rights the he second component of the project has to do with offering a bit of psychosocial support to participants that we will encounter through this project. It also has an aspect of skills training and there is a final component of the skills project which has to do with training of a trainers so it’s identifying leaders that will then learn to teach these sessions in the way that they initially learnt it. It’s primarily for women and girls fifteen and older but we are realizing when we approach people or when schools approach us that they are asking for boys to be apart of this and so where they may serve populations for boys and girls or for women and men we have also included them. The staff of primary schools have asked for example to receive training sessions on the curriculum that we are delivering. We have the Police Youth Mentorship program. It includes boys as well; it’s actually more boys than girls in some of these sessions so while we are specifically looking at women and girls we have also been delivering the sessions to boys as well and it’s been just as receptive and effective we believe.”
Lizama also spoke of the reasoning behind AHRMED being created and how impactful it will for Belize.
Kiri Lizima: “The YWCA you know is one tradition of women empowerment and so when you think of women empowerment and the human rights perspective that’s really I would imagine the root of why a project like this was attractive to the YWCA because it’s really just building on that foundation of empowering women and I have said this before that we are not going to change the world with a two year project like this where the target population is five hundred women but we hope to make it to strengthen that impact through our partnerships and so we are trying to partner with different organizations who are already doing work in this area. partnering with government agencies for example other civil society organizations that have been doing this kind of work and so I believe the strength of the impact that can potentially happen through this project will be with those partnerships because all of us working towards that same thing will hopefully strengthen whatever impact we have with the participants that we will encounter.”
AHRMED is funded by the European Union and has been incorporated into the Belize, Stann Creek and Cayo Districts.