YWCA receives $200,000 Grant Print E-mail
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Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:00

According to the president of the YWCA, Sheree Smiling- Craig, the money will be used to train young people in entrepreneurship as well as prepare them to enter the work force. She added that through the program, a curriculum will be designed and added to the existing programs of the Y and it will continue after the funds from the grant are expended.

The money will be specifically targeted at young men, who are unemployed in Belize City. It will supplement the existing Y's Helping Early Leavers Program, which similarly targets young girls. Through the program, the young men will be trained to be professional barbers and will have a public health, sanitation and personal development component. Trainees will also receive mentoring to help them start their own businesses.

In his remarks, Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally explained that the Embassy has a history of assisting the country through the CARSI program. While the CARSI program is focused on security, Ambasaddor Thummalapally said that the program falls in line with security concerns as it offers at-risk youth alternatives to gang life. He said that the program being implemented by the Y will help young men between the ages of 16 and 20 in attaining financial independence and give them an opportunity to and alternative to a life of despair and violence.

One young man, Steve Gaynair, who will be enrolling in the program, explained that he wants to start his own barber shop in his community. He explained that he wants to be certified and wants to be a mentor to his peers in his community. He concluded by stating that he would want his barber shop to be a place where youths get a haircut and learn to have positive attitudes.