The first of March marked the start of Women’s Month. This year it is being celebrated under the theme “Empowering Women in a Changing World: Planet 50:50 by 2030” and for the entire month, the Women’s Department is carrying out a series of activities geared towards celebrating the achievements and highlighting the need for inclusion of women. Activities for the month include Women’s empowerment seminars in every district as well as Open Houses, sports days, Women’s Economic Empowerment Expos.
And as is trading this year the Women’s department recognized outstanding women in society each with a special story to tell.
For the Orange Walk District two outstanding women were highlighted for their unwavering works in the society. Firstly Neima Naomi Roches who is affectionately known as “Mother Theresa” in her home in the village of Carmelita. Roches is currently the leader of the newly formed Carmelita Women’s Group, and a volunteer of the Women’s Department. Neima is the mother of one child but has several other children in her home that she considers her “adoptive” children. In her community, she is considered as a sister, caregiver and a counsellor, because she is always willing to give a helping hand and a listening ear to those in need.
Another Orange Walkena highlighted this year is Odali Mai, she is described as a free spirit person who enjoys doing things that are challenging. Mai currently forms part of the Belize Family Life Association as a Sexual & Reproductive Health Field Educator doing Behavior Change Communication for the prevention of HIV among Key populations in Belize. She took on this position with a passion that her peers and beneficiaries would seek advice from her as a counselor even after hours.
Two outstanding women were also chosen from the Corozal District including Lydia Vallejo. In 2006, Vallejo joined the Patchakan Presbyterian Women’s Group and along with other members, she visited families in need. Their main objective was to help the elderly and abused women. She continues to work with this group to this date and now runs the House of Dorcas which is a safe house for victims of abuse.
Lastly commemorated this year is Ernestina Moh, who has been the leader of the Caledonia Village Comparsa Group for over 20 years. Even before becoming the head of the group in earnest, she dedicated much of her life to the teaching and retrieval of the Carnaval tradition and the cultural forms that accompany it. Through her efforts, the Carnaval of Caledonia Village has been maintained, as Caledonia remains one of the few communities in Northern Belize with a living memory of the tradition, songs, music, and belief system that comprise it.
We here at CTV3 congratulate these women for their continuous contribution in their community and wish all women in Belize a wonderful Women’s month 2017.