During Friday’s award ceremonies the Orange Walk Town Council was also awarded the Bronze level certification for their work in ensuring that Orange Walk Town grows into a Child Friendly Municipality. Deputy Mayor Ian Cal was present during Friday’s ceremonies and today spoke about the importance of receiving such an award which indicates that we are currently on the right track towards the ultimate goal, which is to become certified as a Child friendly District.

Screen_Shot_2019-11-25_at_6.19.17_PMIan Cal - Deputy Mayor

“We were actually presented with the Bronze level as being, is the first level to certify ourselves as a Child Friendly Municipality, it was an initiative started by UNICEF a couple years ago and now it has taken over by the ministry of local government and the aim is to ensure that all municipalities across Belize are Child Friendly and what do we mean when we say Child Friendly we have to have active youths in our municipality for example, our child advisory body which comprises of children around this town from different schools who meet on a regular bases to consult with the council on different projects and in anything that the council wants to do it consults with the Child Advisory Body, because at the end of the day it is not only a municipality for adults we have to think about the young people, the young generation on anything we do and how it impacts them and what benefits them on the decision that we make and these are the things that we look forward to when we meet with the Child Advisory body and being certified at this level at this point is a great accomplishment because it doesn’t come just like that like I mentioned you have to have a Child Advisory body, the projects that you do has to be certified and approved by the Child Advisory body and we have to ensure that our town becomes a better place and a safer environment for our young people.”

The goal now according to Cal, is to ensure that young people continue to feel safe and protected in our communities.

Ian Cal - Deputy Mayor

“We want our young people to know that there are places that they can join for example the Child Advisory body, other youth groups, other NGO’s for them to be more productive, their voices can be heard, whatever they wants us to know they can come to the Council and we will take those into consideration so it’s not like before where the adults make all the decisions no, the young people has a decision to make in this community and this is what we want to lead to, when you look at Child Friendly Municipality around the world it is not only Belize that is gearing towards that but all other countries around our hemisphere that is gearing towards having a Child Friendly Municipality and this is all part of a global initiative started by UNICEF like I said before and it has now moved on to our local governments section now where the ministry of local government is leading it and we as local government in our municipality has to ensure that we follow these regulations and that we put these things in place for a better community for all of us even adults.”

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