From October 18-21, 2013, more than a dozen youth leaders gathered at the Banana Bank Lodge in Belmopan, Belize, to learn, brainstorm and ultimately develop an advocacy plan to promote and protect sexual and reproductive rights (SRR) in Belize.
Over the four days of training, attendees gained an in-depth understanding of advocacy, including: identifying potential allies and opposition to their work, understanding the political system in Belize and hearing best practices on SRR advocacy from organizations like Belize Family Life Association and National AIDS Commission.
In Belize, there are currently few non-governmental organizations addressing ASRH, HIV prevention and youth development, while Belize has the highest prevalence of HIV in Central America. The majority of those living with HIV are between the ages of 20-29.
GOJoven Belize, established by Alumni of the GOJoven program, is a first-of-its-kind nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing attention to and addressing issues around adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH). Formed in 2011, the organization is already receiving recognition and requests to partner with governmental and non-governmental organizations to lead efforts to improve ASRH.
The advocacy plan developed over the course of the training will be part of GOJoven Belize’s organizational strategy guiding youth leaders in their work to promote and protect sexual and reproductive rights in Belize.
Following the training President of the GOBelize Executive Board Nancy Leiva said, “I am energized and feel more passionate than ever before to change the future of our country.”
To learn more about GOBelize, click here.