In 2014, YOURS – Youth for Road Safety held a Youth Empowerment program for 34 Belizean youth. The program trained young leaders to effectively communicate issues of safe roads and sustainable mobility with fellow young people as Trainers of Facilitators. These young leaders trained 3000 youth across the country in Youth and Road Safety workshops as well as a host of road safety advocacy work across the country. The first program ran from 2014 to 2016. Moving forward the into a second national road safety project, a Belize youth empowerment programme has three major points; Master Training, Training of Facilitators, and Safe School Zones Assessment.
Building Youth as Partners and Leaders
The Master Training program follows a three-lens model that focuses on working with youth as beneficiaries, engaging with youth as partners, and supporting youth as leaders. The model supports efforts to work with and for youth so that they are better equipped to handle development issues that affect them.
The three lens model is grounded on the idea of developing meaningful youth participation from a foundational base. The goal of the model is to develop youth as partners and leaders for global development which includes efforts toward safer roads and more sustainable mobility.
Lenses for participatory practice. Source: DFID 2010, Adapted from Work Bank Development Report 2007
The Master Training program, through the three-lens model, has yielded effective results in Belize The 34 young Belizean leaders exceeded the expectations of the program and reached beyond the target of training and educating more than 3,000 young people through face-to-face workshops. To reach a wider audience, the Belizean youth created campaigns where they produced and distributed road safety materials to reach thousands of other young people.
The first 34 Belizean young leaders then created a group and had their organization registered as Belizean Youths for Road Safety (BYRS). BYRS soon began operating as partners of the Government of Belize to plan and deliver road safety workshops to their peers.
The success of the program led to YOURS officially partnering with the Government of Belize for a second time. Last year, 2019, YOURS Executive Director Floor Lieshout and Representative of the Government of Belize Yvonne Hyde signed a contract that renews the contract for the Belize Project.
YOURS Master Training 2020
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first part of the YOURS Master Training program has gone digital. The Master Training part of the program builds sustainability with the BYRS group to be able to effectively train new Facilitators to reach more young people across the country.
YOURS is currently in the middle of the training program, working with six Belizean youth leaders. YOURS Head of Communications & Training, Manpreet Darroch, is leading the sessions. The participants meet through video calls, taking advantage of online tools to maintain interactive sessions.
The training program is part of a bigger project that is working toward getting more youth involved in road safety and sustainable mobility efforts. The end of the program will see the Belizean youth participants capable of preparing and organizing a full Training of Facilitators based on the Master Training program. The participants will also have a full understanding of the YOURS TOF Curriculum, setting them up for its successful delivery in 2021.
Follow the progress of the Belizean Youths for Road Safety by connecting with them!
CONNECT WITH BYRS Read about the Belize workshop