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Special Envoy, Rossana Briceno Garners Support in Women Empowerment

Accompanying the Prime Minister to Taiwan is the Special Envoy, Rossana Briceno. Mrs Briceno has been partaking in separate meetings with an aim to garner support and cooperation in women empowerment and other women issues. The discussions come at a time when Belize is observing Women’s Month. Our Taiwan correspondent, Britney Gordon, spoke with Briceno on one specific meeting she had at the Garden of Hope Foundation.

Rosanna Briceño, Special Envoy for Development of Families and Children: I got a chance to visit and meet with the directors from The Garden of Hope Foundation and this is an NGO in Taiwan and they do a lot of work with protection of women and girls, especially in the areas of prostitution, gender based violence, and abuse. And what I like about their, the work that they’re doing, it’s, it provides like a one stop service so when a woman or a child is rescued, per se, they get all the support in that one organisation. They’re referred for counselling, for jobs, for whatever support that they need. In Belize we have come, we have a long way to go but I know for a fact that we have an NGO in San Pedro that has opened a safe home. It’s called Hope Haven and they have, I think they have their hearts in the right place and they’re going to be providing one stop services too. So once these women come to the home, they’re not revictimized. There’s going to be a doctor there to do any kind of examination. For example, if they were raped, the rape kits would be available if they need counselling, a counsellor will be there to provide mental health suport for them. Clothing, food, they also have a room to stay. Even with their children until they can get on their two feet and then move on. So I’m very very proud of what the women in San Pedro do and I think that it’s something that needs to be replicated in every district in our country to make sure women have a safe place to go to because most times when women leave, they leave with nothing, maybe just their children in their hands and that’s it. So we have a lot of work to do in Belize and I feel that having these discussions in Taiwan, a more developed country, that we can either, we can start with the sharing of ideas and take it to another level. Training would be of the utmost importance for us in Belize and that’s what we’re looking at. We’re looking at networking, collaboration, creating partners. So I had an opportunity to sit with these, with this organisation and I feel that it’s something that can happen.”