Members of the GOJoven Reaching Our Youth (ROY) Dangriga 2012 Team expanded their reach and sparked the interest of potential new leaders at the Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Radio Outreach Day. At SRH Radio Outreach Day, more than 100 people visited the GOJoven ROY booth to engage in conversation and ask questions about their work. Many adolescents expressed interest in joining the team’s efforts. As a result of this interest, the GOJoven ROY team organized a small training for youth in the community and now has nine new volunteers. Five of these new volunteers joined the team at a booth at the annual Benguche Community Fair.
We at GOJoven are very proud of the team for responding to the interest that these young people showed in the ROY Team’s activities. The ROY Team showed great leadership by being flexible and willing to engage in a new activity that fits the needs of local youth.
Juan Caal is a young Mayan leader from Toledo who was 19 years old when he became a GOJoven Fellow. Juan has experience with the Toledo Mayan Women’s Council and has worked as a journalist for Plus TV. Juan also demonstrates his dedication to community development through involvement in community clean-up campaigns and participation in door-to-door surveys around health issues such as diabetes. This motivated young leader is excited to connect his training in media with SRH advocacy.
Dorita Lisbey was born in Benque Viejo and became a GOJoven Belize Fellow when she was 29 years old. While living in the U.S., this youth leader attained her CNA certificate and worked as a nursing assistant for four years while also volunteering with a girl’s dance troupe. She also has experience working as a volunteer nursing assistant at the Mopan Health Clinic in Benque Viejo. Dorita wants to continue her work as a nurse in order to promote sexual and reproductive health in Benque.
Adeliah Ishim was 26 when she became a GOJoven Belize Fellow. She is multi-lingual, speaking Maya Mopan in addition to Creole and English. Adeliah has done work with the Toledo Maya Women’s Council in Punta Gorda to empower women and young girls through income-generating projects in jewelry-making, crafts, and sewing. During these group sessions, they also discuss sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues that impact the community such as domestic violence and teen pregnancy. Adeliah sees herself applying her business background to her career. As a committed leader, her goal is to increase her knowledge and empower herself in the area of SRH rights to continue advocating to improve SRH among youth and women in her community.
Phillip Ramos Jr. was born in HopkinsVillage and grew up on CayeCaulkerIsland, living in Dangriga most of his life. He is resilient in facing economic hardship, with both parents gone, and obtained a scholarship to graduate from DelilleAcademy secondary school in June 2012. He has experience in media, and has produced music and videos to create awareness around different sexual and reproductive health issues. This energetic young person was 21 years old when he became part of the GOJoven Belize program and aims to increase his skills as a leader in GOJoven to continue making a positive impact on his community.
Thomas Reyes was born in Belize City, and has lived in Dangriga most of his life. This motivated young fellow entered the GOJoven Belize program at the age of 19. Thomas is a graduate of DelilleAcademy, and his academic interests include Business and Tourism. He is also a member of the Youth Advocacy Movement, and has done volunteer work with a youth radio talk show in Dangriga called “Big Chat, Doing the Right Thing.” Thomas is a role model for other young people in his community to pursue further education, and is dedicated to working to address such sexual and reproductive issues as teenage pregnancy and the sugar daddy syndrome.
Tasha Petillo has assisted the organization Plenty Belize with its mission of “Working together for the people, communities, and environment of Toledo” as the accounts manager, business skills trainer, and as project manager. Her formal education includes an Associate’s Degree in Natural Resources Management, and several skills-building courses, including a certification course in “Community Development with Local Residents as Main Actors” held in Japan in 2010. Tasha has done work around sexual and reproductive health issues like domestic violence, creating and presenting a video on domestic violence to youth. As an active member serving in many community organizations, Tasha is an asset to Punta Gorda. Tasha was 27 when she became a Fellow with GOJoven Belize.
Adolfo Cal was 25 years old when selected to be part of the GOJoven Belize Program. Adolfo is from AguacateVillage, a remote community in the Toledo District, and speaks Ketchi Maya, as well as English and Creole. He is has served as a volunteer for Humana Child Aid Toledo, and in 2005, he graduated from the JulianChoTechnicalHigh School, where he received a Diploma in Vocational Studies. This hard-working individual looks forward to furthering his education and believes that education can make a difference in someone’s life. Adolfo is a dedicated leader in his community: hosting sporting activities, helping the elderly, and taking part in an advisory meeting in Dangriga to advocate for better youth policy. His dream is to open a youth resource center in his community, which promotes education, sexual and reproductive health, and sustainable agriculture and tourism as sources of income.
Linston Mckenzie was 27 when he became a GOJoven fellow. Linston was born in Corozal and raised in Punta Gorda. This engaging youth advocate brings experience in different types of media; his professional experience includes working as the director of Toledo Exposure Documentary Film Company. At the age of 23, Linston competed in Punta Gorda for the Mayor position. This experience inspired him to work for positive social change in his region and country through political action. As such, Linston is committed to improving sexual and reproductive health and education, and ensuring environmentally sustainable development of Belize.
Anthony Martinez, born in DangrigaTown, was 23 when he became a GOJoven Fellow. This dynamic young leader received his Diploma from DelilleAcademy and his academic background is in Sociology. He received certification in the areas of youth and leadership development, proposal writing and facilitation. He has also served as the Vice President of a youth club known as Friends in Partnership Reaching Out (FIPRO), where he has worked with disabled children and the elderly. Anthony considers himself a dedicated community activist whose goal is to make an impact on young people’s lives through positive change.