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Kids happiness was focal point of training

A training program in connection with the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities initiative ended today in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Paul Mahung, Love FM:

“Coordinator of the four day training program entitled ‘Return to Happiness’ is a Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities initiative, project manager, Kadie Vaughn.”

Kadie Vaughn, Project Manager, Child Friendly Municipalities Initiative:

“The Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Initiative is a collaboration between the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Labor, Local Government and Rural Development, the Belize Mayor’s Association, NCFC, UNICEF and UNDP and what we are hosting in Punta Gorda is a ‘Return to Happiness’ workshop which provides psychosocial support to children after they have experienced some sort of trauma whether it is manmade or natural. So we have invited guests from throughout the country who would affect the life of a child, so we have invited different people from Orange Walk, Corozal, Belize City , San Pedro and then we have people from the Domestic Violence Unit, police officers from the Community Policing Unit, we have school counselors and we have people from NDAC anybody who would directly work with children in any kind of way we have invited them to participate in this workshop so that we can give them different tools tips and tricks on how they can interact with a child and provide them with some sort of guidance to return them to happiness at the end of experiencing trauma. Some of the major topics we covered throughout our workshop were engaging children in creative arts such as story development, painting and drawing and we want children to be able to express themselves in different manners such as drawing out the situation they have been in, drawing out their past and being able to look towards a future. We want them to develop songs so we created songs of hope so that when you are hurt we want you to listen to songs that will be able to uplift your spirit and let you be able to think of a better future and so we ask our participants to actually write their own songs of hope rather than just listen to the songs that are already there; and then expressing the stress and trauma recovery what are different steps that we can take to recover the children. So those were some of our topics that we did over this week. This is a roll out plan so our initial training was done in Belize in the month of July when we had a group come in from the Caribbean and they did this training. We had 19 participants in Belize City and so five of the mare here participating as trainers so they are the facilitators doing the training for the people here who have come together here in this municipality.”

Paul Mahung, Love FM

“With the completion of the four day training program the participants nationwide are expected to provide appropriate guidance to children who are affected by trauma as a result of any natural or man-made disaster.”