The Child Aid project in Belize is where Development Instructors trained at Richmond Vale Academy carry out their Service Period, living and working shoulder to shoulder with the poor.
In Belize the Development Instructors work for 6 months with the local NGO Humana People to People Belize. Humana People to People (HPP) has projects fighting poverty in the country and Child Aid Toledo is one of them. Toledo refers to the most southern and the poorest part of Belize.
A brief information about Belize
Belize is located in Central America and it is bordered to the north by Mexico, to the south and west by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. It is a diverse country with various cultures and languages. The country has the lowest population density in Central America with 35 people per square mile or 14 people per square kilometer.
The first people to develop the country were the Maya around 1500 B.C.E. As shown in archeological records, they established a number of settlements here. These include Caracol, Lamanai and Lubaantun. The first European contact with Belize occurred in 1502 when Christopher Columbus reached the area’s coast. In 1638, the first European settlement was established by England and for 150 years, many more English settlements were set up.
In 1840, the country became a “Colony of British Honduras” and in 1862, it became a crown colony. For one hundred years after that, the country was a representative government of England but in January 1964, full self government with a ministerial system was granted. In 1973, the region’s name was changed from British Honduras to Belize and on September 21, 1981, full independence was achieved.
Humana People to People Belize
Humana People to People Belize is a non-governmental organization registered and operating in Belize. Its development concepts are built on working with a range of activities that one by one and in their totality organize people and connect people with interest in development to create change. HPP works shoulder to shoulder together with the families in building their own capacity as a community, thus empowering them to take a stand to issues affecting their own progress. Humana People to People began its activities in this Central American country in 2007 and is currently implementing a Child Aid Project and a second hand clothes project.
The Child Aid, unlike the name suggests, is not only about working with children. The Child Aid project has as an aim to build the capacity in families and in communities, recognizing that in order to nurture children successfully, the entire community needs to be strengthened.
10 Lines of Child Aid
To reach this goal, the Child Aid project works under the following 10 lines:
Strengthening the economy of the family
Health and hygiene
Children as Active in Society
Children without parents
Culture and communication
Our Work in Belize
Richmond Vale Academy has sent Development Instructors to Belize for periods of 6 months since 2012. The Fighting with the Poor participants, live, learn and fight shoulder to shoulder with the poor in rural communities in Toledo. During 6 months the Development Instructors work with a variety of projects under the 10 headlines of the Child Aid Project.
The main projects that the participants work with are developing garden farming along with improvements in healthy living through education about nutrition, hygiene, preventing diseases and other factors that affect the healthy development of children and humans. Community development efforts also include working close together with the schools in the district, with youth and women groups, with sports and culture, with improving infrastructure and with income generating projects.