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Youth parliamentarians meeting National Assembly members leading up to National Children’s Parliament

Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2022. 8:34 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The youngsters who are – for a day at least – getting to be members of the National Assembly in November have been meeting the real thing all this week.

On Monday during the Senate’s special meeting, eleven of the youth parliamentarians along with representatives of the National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) were in attendance to observe the proceedings. The group ranged from the stand-ins for president and vice-president of the Senate, to those representing the Government, Opposition, and cross-bench, as well as those standing in for members of the House of Representatives.

The representatives are Vivian Espat, who is representing the President of the Senate, Asher Torres, who is representing the Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Jalil Garbutt, who is representing the Vice President of the Senate, Ofelia Hernandez representing the Belize Council of Churches, Emelly Sosa, who is representing National Trade Union Congress & Civil Society Steering Committee, Tana Vasques, representing Non-Governmental Organizations, Kathry Velasquez, representing the Lead Senator of the Opposition, Abigail Cabral, representing the Opposition, Jediah Martinez, representing the Belize Chambers of Commerce, Sapphire Jenkins, representing the Deputy Prime Minister, and Liselle Swasey, representing Member for Albert.

On Friday, stand-in Speaker of the House Azaraiah Chaplin and parliamentarian Adia Viltz met with Valerie Woods and Kareem Musa respectively for a chat on their expected roles. Previous meetings took place with Cordel Hyde and Tracey Taegar-Panton.

The third Annual National Children’s Parliament will be held on November 11, co-sponsored by the National Assembly in collaboration with the National Commission for Families and Children (NCFC), the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children, and UNICEF. Further encounters will take place leading up to what is hoped to be a very successful initiative.


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