Campaign launched in Cayo Print E-mail
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Thursday, 08 November 2012 00:00

Birth registrationSpecial Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow assisted parents on Tuesday, November 6th, to register their children at the main office of the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council. The momentous occasion forms part of an initiative spearheaded by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its many partners, which begun in the Toledo District in February of last year, to give every child in Belize an identity.

In her presentation to the gathering, Mrs. Barrow expressed that she was pleased to be back home in the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.

“This place is where I first received my first right as a child”, she said. “We can’t stress enough the importance of registering your children.” “One of the most important things we will ever apply for is a birth certificate…it lays the foundation for other documents later in life”, she reminded.

Ms. Christine Norton, Representative for UNICEF in Belize told The Guardian that there are many advantages to getting a child registered, immediately after birth and with the Ministry of Health. These include having access to a Social Security card, being able to enter school and having a Belizean identity.

A special vote of thanks at Cayo’s Birth Registration Campaign launching was delivered by Mrs. Olivia Dakers, the Manager of the local Social Security Branch. According to Dakers, the efforts of the campaign around Cayo this week will pay dividends into the future, since it will save from the many trips to conduct the registration process in Belize City.

The process of registering children in as many as twenty nine of Cayo’s highly dispersed communities will continue through to Friday of this week, with campaigners also taking the opportunity to educate parents on the birth registration process. Long term plans call for the strengthening of the system of birth registration at the national and community levels. The campaign hopes to also strengthen the policies and legislations related to birth registrations. The program has visited some forty eight communities in the Toledo District, thirty one in Stann Creek, thirty one in Corozal, two in Caye Caulker and San Pedro, twenty nine in Orange Walk and four in the South Side of Belize City. So far ,some fifteen thousand birth certificates have been issued under the Birth Registration Campaign, where some significant partners, such as the Organization of American States, Social Security Board, Ministry of Health, National Committee for Families and Children and the Vital Statistics Unit, have become involved.