Rural Women In Belize Get Skill Training

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26 women from two northern rural communities in Belize are now qualified as seamstresses after graduating from a 10-month Garment Construction Training project which was financed through a loan of $51,440.00 from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The sewing project was implemented by the Social Investment Fund (SIF) as part of its mandate to work in line with the Government's poverty alleviation strategy. Executive Director of SIF, Mr. William Lamb Jr., said the fund is working in collaboration with CDB to empower Belizeans with relevant skills training for employment, businesses and entrepreneurship. "The women, who hail from the villages of San Jose and Guinea Grass, are now equipped with skills to access employment opportunities, generate income, be self-sufficient, and significantly contribute to further develop their communities and by extension the wider society of Belize," Mr. Lamb Jr. said. Sewing was identified by the women's groups as a skill since many of them buy custom-made school uniforms or sometimes travel to other communities in search of a seamstress. The sewing machines used for the training project - four industrial and 20 regulars - will remain at the Multipurpose Centers in the respective villages for future production and programs. Both groups have also received start-up material for production of items for sale and plan to partner with the Cooperative Department, Women's Department and the House of Culture.

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