Taiwan recommits to supporting women’s empowerment in Belize
And, before her departure, President Tsai also had the opportunity to check in on another project that had been implemented with the assistance of her government. The event was the last activity to be held during the president’s eventful visit and was geared at highlighting Belize’s women entrepreneurs. Reporter Vejea Alvarez was there and tells us more.
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Thanks to the people and government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) hundreds of Belizean women entrepreneurs can better provide for their families. Today a cohort of graduates of the Enhancing the Economic Empowerment of Women Project in Belize was graced with a visit from Taiwanese President Dr.Tsai Ing-Wen. The exhibition sought to display various goods and services produced by Belizean businesses through Taiwanes Government funding. Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children, Rossana Briceno explained that the project would not have come to fruition without Taiwan’s support.
Rossana Briceno, Special Envoy for Development of Families and Children: “Taiwan has always valued it’s relationship with this region and we have made great strides in working together to promote shared prosperity and development. In Belize we are appreciative of partnering with Taiwan as this has given us the opportunity to provide training, technical assistance, and resources to support the empowerment of women and girls through Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: In Belize 66% of all micro,small and medium enterprises are owned and operated by women. CEO of immigration Ambassador Amalia Mai says this fact speaks to the importance of empowering one of the country’s most valuable resources, its women.
Amalia Mai, CEO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Last month we celebrated Women’s Month but w want to think that this project is a celebration of women all year round because we have been able to show and they have learned very skillfully and very fast how it is to manage their business, how it is to improve their standards, how it is that they can help each other. I think the networking of women that have participated in this project is extremely important because I see in all the projects that we have visited how they come together and they lean on each other and support each other.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: And just as Belize and Taiwan worked together in unison to empower its people the graduates continue to lean on each other to grow their businesses by leaps and bounds according to Yssenia Guerra, one of the many beneficiaries.
Yssenia Guerra: “This training also helped open new doors to network and I am proud to say I am in business with fellow entrepreneurs. Preparing myself with an entrepreneurial mindset unlocked my learning skills to self improvement and self sufficiency as a woman, mother, entrepreneur and role model.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The project’s third phase of implementation centered on assisting women entrepreneurs who were impacted by the COVID-19 and today it’s more than seven hundred Belizean women have enhanced their skills or opened or reopened their business through the initiative. Minister of HUman Development and Families Dolores Balderamos Garcia highlighted the huge impact this project has had.
Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples Affairs: “I want to say that because of the excellent and strong partnership of Taiwan with Belize you have helped us and our women, our families, our men, our children you have helped us so tremendously. I can repeat as well the words of our CEO and the Special Envoy that we cherish the values of democracy, of cooperation, of self determination, we absolutely cherish those values and Because of that we have a little saying in Belize and it goes like this President Tsai “You may go gial but you must come back.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: While it is uncertain when the president may be returning to Belize it was evident that President Tsai was pleased to witness such a powerful display of women in business. The president reiterated that her government will continue to support women’s empowerment in Belize and the world over.
Dr. Tsai Ing-Wen, President of the Republic of China (Taiwan): “This past February in Taipei I had the pleasure of joining Special Envoy Briceno at a forum on women’s empowerment in Latin America and the Caribbean. I recalled that we had quite a lively conversation about women’s empowerment and women’s rights issues close to both of our hearts. Seeing this exhibition today I’m more than encouraged by the results of our collaboration. I hope that our countries will continue to share experiences and exchange ideas on these important issues. Let’s keep working together to help women realize their goals and inspire them to be all that they can be.”
President Tsai will stop over in the US tomorrow to meet with US Speaker Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy will meet the Taiwanese leader in a “bipartisan” meeting at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library outside of Los Angeles. The meeting in the US, as opposed to in Taiwan, has been seen as a compromise to avoid inflaming tensions with China. But Beijing last week cautioned that any meeting between President Tsai and the third-highest-ranking US official could lead to the US seeing “serious repercussions”.