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A one day training session was offered today under the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipality Project with the objective of holding consultations with service providers as well as children who form part of the Orange Walk Community to assist in the development of a Child Friendly Strategic Plan. The plan comprises of specific priority goals and outcomes and is expected to be carried out in a period of five years.


Screen_Shot_2017-01-23_at_8.07.48_PMJohn Flowers – Technical Consultant, Sustainable & Child Friendly Municipality


“The National Committee for Families and Children last year developed a national plan for children and adolescence 2017/2030 so that is fourteen years so what we are doing we are aligning the strategic plan for Orange Walk Town with the national plan and so there are already a number of goals identified six goals; supportive parents, supportive transitions, we are looking at prevention is better than cure so these kinds of goals and then we have also five outcomes that we want for children, we want them to be active and healthy we want them to be achieving in all ranges of education, we want them to be living in a very sustainable and friendly environments, we want them to be connected to their homes, to schools, to the environments and so these are some of the outcomes we want for our children and young people but it requires the whole of government in getting the tools also, the private sector and society and only so we can deliver those outcomes so those are some of the things that the children and stakeholders here today are discussing and privatizing so that we can look at what are the greatest priorities for Orange Walk and then we can fashion that strategic plan.”


Paulette Wade – Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, UNICEF


“Today’s workshop is part of a bigger action plan that we have with the ministry of local government as well as with the Mayor’s Association in 2014 all Mayors in the nine municipalities signed an agreement that they will work towards making their municipality Child Friendly and so we are ongoing in terms of the support that we offer for them to be able to achieve this. So today we are here to support this municipality in Orange Walk in putting together their strategic plan looking at what are the various goals and priorities for Orange Walk in order to achieve being Child Friendly we understand that not all municipalities are the same so we are having this discussions with all Local Governments for them to identify within the national framework for Adolescence and Children what are the priorities for each municipality.”


In order for the project to successfully flourish in the near future, the input of each participant is essential says Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for UNICEF, Paulette Wade.


Screen_Shot_2017-01-23_at_8.08.03_PMPaulette Wade – Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, UNICEF


“We want to ensure that they understand that their input is valuable and every participant here is representative of the entire Orange Walk Town so I think that each participant can call themselves a trade laser then as it were for Orange Walk so that in 2020 for example we look at Orange Walk we say yes Orange Walk is Child Friendly but base from the input of the participant today and as I tell every municipality, a municipality that is Child Friendly is a municipality that is friendly for everyone.”


At the end of the day the feedback was positive as participants interchanged several ideas of their ideal municipality including better access to education and health services.


John Flowers – Technical Consultant, Sustainable & Child Friendly Municipality


“The children themselves have indicated that they want to see a safer Orange Walk, less drugs, less crime, they want to see better schools, better streets, better drainage, better health services so they know what they want so it is a matter for the adults to really get together and work together to deliver the results.”


Tristan Magana - Student, M.C.H.S


“They say usually the children are the future of our country, right now is the present what we want though is that our future to become good we must try fix up the new generation which is the children up to 5 year old, teens, all ages, so we are here to try see if we could make a difference and train more better by starting with the children. In order for the children to become good we also have to remember that parents also play a big role and on behalf we also have to say that parents understand the children and be aware that they are the future of our country to make it a better place.”


Ruth Castillo – Student, O.W.T.H.S


“I really like the idea that these different organizations are coming together and they want to make our town a much better place right so in order to do that they are hearing from the youths, they are hearing from the children so that we can give out ideas and so I really hope that parents are there and the ones listening right now that they help support their children because they have to start from at home when they are young, they are the foundation and ones they help their children and things like that then most likely that foundation with their aunt will grow on and pass on those values to other children and become better for society for the community.”


The workshop is being conducted in all nine municipalities across the country.

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