Sunday, September 27th, 2015. Chrisbert Garcia Reporting: Plenty Belize is a non-governmental organization (NGO) in the Toledo District that works to promote the health and well-being of the district’s people, communities and environment.
The organization helps local community based groups to create and maintain sustainable means of generating income.
Plenty also works closely with schools to develop gardens and assist children in education as it did in its most recent project, funded through a program by the United States (US) Embassy.
An all-day fair was held late last week at the Punta Gorda (PG) Parish Hall to showcase the fruits of the “Toledo Youth Empowerment” (TYE) project that has been preparing at-risk youth to become entrepreneurs for the past two years.
At the fair, approximately 14 small businesses were on display, that were spawned from the $750 grant that each youth received after completing life skills training, business training, and a course in preparation for starting a business, which were all required as part of the project.
Out of 60 selected at risk youth that participated in the TYE project, a small portion was given assistance to continue their education. The larger group decided to start their own businesses with the money allotted to them or with small loans from the Toledo Teachers Credit Union, which was made easily attainable through this project.
The 14 businesses that were on display included hair salons, fast food restaurants, internet cafés, drumming schools, gift shops and poultry rearing, all of which have been successful up to this point, a few months since they began operations. Some of the businesses though, were not successful and have fallen by the wayside.
Mr. Jack Nightingale spoke to Belize Media Group and told us that he sees the project as a success since many businesses are thriving and many youth have been assisted to further their education.
This project, spearheaded by Mr. Mark Miller of Plenty Belize and Nightingale, as well as other stakeholders in education and business, culminated today, with a trip to Placencia for the youth to have a fun day after their hard work.
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