By Benjamin Flowers
This week the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) made a US$26,000 donation to Restore Belize, to support the organization’s various projects.
Minister of Education and President of UNESCO in Belize, Patrick Faber, flanked by UNSECO Secretary General, Rev. Dale Anthony, presented the cheque on Wednesday morning to Restore Belize’s Senior program Officer, Roger Bradley.
Marie Muñoz, program officer for Restore Belize, explained that the funding will go largely to the Peace in the Parks project, which is geared towards community rehabilitation in areas affected by crime.
Marie Munoz, Program Officer for Restore Belize, added that a portion of the funding will go towards an initiative in which Restore Belize is in collaboration with the organization YATA, to showcase a stage play on issues affecting girls in the society.
“We like particularly that this time around that we will be doing a lot of work in the area of drama because it allows the kids to tell their story, which builds self esteem, and shows the community issues which they are facing”, Munoz added.
The donation is the second that Restore Belize has received from UNESCO – the first being in 2013. Under the Peace in the Parks project, parks have either been renovated or built in areas such as Lake Independence, Yaborough, and Jane Usher Boulevard.
Parks were built in the school compounds of St. Martin de Porres and Queen Square Anglican, with a third south-side school set to receive a park in 2016.
“Over the years due to gang violence, our neighborhood parks lost what they were actually for – bringing children to play,” Roger Bradley said. “Now we are bringing that peace and life back to our parks.”
Rev. Anthony speaking at the handing over of the cheque, explained that Restore Belize will be required to submit a progress report on the projects.