Sometime in 1993, when I arrived in Belize, I went to visit a gentleman at one of Belmopan’s government offices with the intention to present a project on tourism. After receiving me and hearing my intentions, he responded saying: “Our archives are filled with projects and programs lying there which have never been used. We have no space for yours.” At the time I did not understand. It was going to take many years for me to comprehend the Belizean political culture of doing things to achieve certain neoliberal capitalist objectives, for the reason that the socialist vision has already been written in black and white in the preamble to the constitution of this country, which should be the number one subject of the primary educational level for students to read and comprehend its interpretation. Nonetheless, our dear readers of this column, let me present to you the following issue which is still on the stove cooking. It was published in April, 1995, by The National Committee for Families and Children and UNICEF Belize, with the support and cooperation of The Government of Belize Central Statistical Office. It is in the form of a book entitled: “THE RIGHT TO A FUTURE, A Situation Analysis of Children in Belize.”. Here is an extract from that book’s foreword:
When Belize ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, it committed itself to protect, provide for and enable young people to participate. In addition, the government of Belize, when elected to office in June 1993, was elected on a promise to provide a secure future for all Belizeans. To be able to provide a secure future for present and future generations of Belizeans, Belize must focus on the needs of its children. To adequately focus on and address the needs of our children we must first assess and analyze the situation that children in Belize currently face. This Situation Analysis of Children in Belize is such an effort. It places, in one document, the hard facts on health, water and sanitation, education, family and social issues and local development in Belize. This document should serve, not only to guide policy makers in both the government and non-government sectors in deciding what actions need to be taken, but also as a source of data with which to strengthen their cases when bidding for scarce resources for programms aimed at addressing the needs of children. I trust that this document will prove useful to all those who are committed to providing a secure future for Belize’s children. Thanks to all who have made this publication possible.
Hon. Faith Babb
Minister of State
Ministry of Human Resources
Women’s Affairs, Youth and Patriotism
August 22, 2021