Belize's CDB-funded Youth and Road Safety Capacity Building Project Kicks Off

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The Government of Belize (GOBZ) launched its Youth and Road Safety Capacity Building Project with the commencement of an intensive two-week training course for 19 youths ages 18 to 25 on June 16, 2014. It is expected that over the two-year lifecycle of the project, over 2,000 youths ages 16-29 will benefit. Funded by a USD110,000 grant from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), with a counterpart contribution from the GOBZ of USD47,000, the Project is being implemented by the Road Safety Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The project forms part of a wider GOBZ road safety initiative supported by a CDB loan of USD8.844 million. The nine male and ten female participants were identified following a rigorous application, screening and selection process. During the initial week, they will be trained in facilitation, communication and public speaking, and equipped with team and trust building skills. They will develop an understanding of the key risk factors for youth in road safety and recognise gender impacts, roles, stereotypes, and masculine behaviour on road usage. The training will also include project cycle management and guidelines on preparing their own road safety project. In the second week, the trained Facilitators will participate in demonstration workshops in preparation for the delivery of their own road safety workshops for students in high schools in Belize City and Belmopan at the conclusion of the training. Mr. Glen McCarvell, Operations Officer (Civil Engineer), Economic Infrastructure Division, CDB noted, "Once trained, these Facilitators will over the next two years, deliver their own workshops in Belize's high schools and to youth aged 16Àó29 not in the school system. These workshops will use informal structured activities such as role play, group exercises, games, and simulations, to promote effective learning. The initial participants will also benefit from refresher exercises and periodic coaching by facilitators, Youth for Road Safety (YOURS). After the first year of implementation, high potential Facilitators will be selected from the initial core group, and provided with additional training to enable them to train a new group of facilitators to continue further iterations of the cycle." YOURS is a global, not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation focused on youth and road safety.

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