25 July 2017, Santa Elena, Cayo
The Santa Cruz Park in Santa Elena, Cayo is a now brighter, more inviting space thanks to a collaboration between the Youth Rise Project in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, the Cayo Department of Youth Services (DYS), and the San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Council. On 24 July 2017, eighty-five (85) youths from the Youth Empowerment Summer Camp hosted by DYS and Youth Rise, spent the day beautifying the park for the camp’s community service day activity.
As part of the joint effort, the Town Council made a number of improvements to the park including repairing four cement park benches, adding new chains and wooden swings sets, installing a new slide and rehabilitating a wooden see-saw. The youths, aged 10-19, then spent the day painting all the new installations in bright colours and adding paint lines to the basketball court, which now has a new rim courtesy the Youth Rise Project. The community service day was geared at instilling civic pride within the youths who are attending the two-week summer camp. Throughout the course of the camp, which runs from 17th-28th July, the youths have been participating in sporting activities as well as educational sessions on topics such as cyber bullying, fire safety, environmental awareness, and sexual and reproductive health.
the Youth Resilience and Inclusive Social Empowerment (RISE) Project is a comprehensive social intervention, which responds to the challenges facing vulnerable groups, particularly at-risk youth in the Towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena and Dangriga. Youth Rise supports the expansion of and access to needed social programs for youths and their families, while developing and presenting new services to reduce social exclusion. The project is implemented by the Government of Belize via the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation & Poverty Alleviation and public sector and social partners with funding from the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Belize.