Belizean youth engaged on gender equality and changing negative socio-cultural gender norms
25 June 2021
240 Belizean Youth are being engaged via a Spotlight Initiative funded activity to promote gender equality and change negative socio-cultural gender norms.
The initiative is being conducted by UNFPA in Belize through its Implementing Partner, the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA). So far a model Training of Trainers (TOT) programme has been executed and support is being provided for community-based training sessions with out-of-school young persons.
The TOT programme recruited participants from existing youth-led and youth-based organizations from the community that conduct sexuality education sessions with young people countrywide. Community health workers (CHWs) also supported identification of potential participants in the communities given the Association’s positive experience in the uptake of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services by rural community members during mobile outreaches conducted in collaboration with the CHWs, also under the Spotlight Initiative. The TOT sessions were conducted using virtual and face-to-face modalities over five (5) days – three (3) days on CSE content and two (2) days focusing on facilitation skills development, practical facilitation exercises based on CSE topics, and training logistics planning. Out of forty-six (46) participants, a cohort of twenty-seven (27) successful trainees participated in a certification ceremony on 24 March 2021 and have each received a CSE Training Tool Kit that consists of a BFLA-developed Peer Educators Manual and other useful materials.
The CSE Peer educators are now conducting community-based training sessions targeting a total of 240 out-of-school young people country wide covering topics such as gender, gender- based violence, and sexual and reproductive health. Sessions are co-facilitated by the Association’s youth officers including the Director of Education and Programme, an Education and Programme officer and three youth officers with a combined 20 years’ experience in youth development work. A second cohort of the CSE peer educators will be trained in 2021.