Educational Programmes

We offer many programmes aimed at developing Belizeans intellectually to prepare them to succeed. These programmes range from pre-school and day care to adult literacy and skills development.

H.I.V. Outreach

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a serious public health concern in Belize, where the total number of HIV infections reported between 1986 and 2008 reached 4,680 in a population of only 322,000. The Caribbean is now considered the second most HIV/AIDS affected region in the world after Sub-Saharan Africa, with an HIV prevalence rate of 1.6%. And in the Caribbean, Belize has the highest estimated prevalence rate of HIV among adults aged 15-49 at 2.1%. In 2008 for the first time the number of new cases in females outnumbered those in males. In fact the groups with the highest incidence were women 15-24 years of age and men 30-49 years of age.

The YWCA Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme trains barbers and beauticians in Belize and Orange Walk Districts as HIV/AIDS educators. The programme facilitates the availability of information that is needed to make informed decisions and take control of one’s life. The programme empowers the participants to be leaders in their communities. The beauty parlor, already a common community meeting place, becomes a non-threatening environment where we can reach those mostly affected by this disease. The programme also educates about safe sex and provides condoms for those whom abstinence is not an option. Since the project began, 18 barbers/beauticians in Belize City and 10 in Orange Walk have been trained as HIV educators. They also produced IEC materials for the BCC activities.

H.E.L.P.

The Helping Early Leavers Programme is a two-year programme designed to provide alternative educational opportunities to young women who are unable to go on to high school. The programme was established in 1992 and offers all students instruction in academics (Math, English and Social Studies), life skills (health and hygiene, self-esteem, and work-readiness), computer skills and physical education. Girls can choose to study for the Primary School Examination or enroll in one of these three vocational streams:

• Cosmetology
• Sewing
• Hospitality
Students in the vocational programs receive both theory and practical instruction, on-the-job training and small business training.  To qualify for the program you need to:

1.  Be between the ages of 13 and 18 years old
2.  Be motivated and have a positive attitude towards others
3.  Have basic reading and writing skills

H.E.L.P. Staff
Principal – Delarai Sanchez, M.Ed.
Cosmetology Teacher – Alvree Rhys
PSE Teacher – Jose Mai
Remedial Teacher – Merva Theus
Hospitality Teacher – Daneen Myvett
Sewing Teacher – Bertha Monjaras
Life Skills Teacher/Counselor – Marcie Carballo

Adult Literacy

The YWCA is responsible for creating a space for continued and expanded opportunities for those who would not normally be able to find a niche for themselves in the community. Its English as a Second Language Programme is one of such initiatives, which has had resounding success over the past couple of years.


The ESL Programme is offered by the YWCA to foreigners who want to communicate at a functional level in English. Most students enrolled in the programme are from the Central American region, since these are the groups of people who find the language barrier most disadvantageous to their individual and family’s growth. The students attending these classes this year are either in the basic class, taught by Mr. Jose Mai, or the remedial class, taught by Mr. Lucito Ayuso. Only one Belizean is enrolled in the remedial class. The total number of students has dwindled due to economic factors, as well as the return of some of them to their places of origin.

While the setbacks can be debilitating, the success of the programme is indicated by the enrollment of two graduates of the YWCA at Pallotti High School, and also Erica Garcia, one of our past students who is presently attending Nazarene High School. Likewise, Yader Hernandez proudly states that, through the ESL course, he was able to learn English and has attained his Social Security card to work in Belize.


This programme has fostered the betterment of several persons, and in so doing, fulfills its mission. It is the hope that many will continue to seek this service and that the ESL programme will itself continue to evolve to meet the new needs of its students.

Literacy Instructor – Lucito Ayuso
ESL Instructor – Jose Mai

Adult Swim

H.E.L.P.

H.I.V. Outreach
We offer many programmes aimed at developing Belizeans intellectually to prepare them to succeed. These programmes range from pre-school and day care to adult literacy and skills development. Click here to find out more.
Educational Programmes
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a serious public health concern in Belize, where the total number of HIV infections reported between 1986 and 2008 reached 4,680 in a population of only 322,000. The Caribbean is now considered the second most HIV/AIDS affected region in the world after Sub-Saharan Africa, with an HIV prevalence rate of 1.6%. And in the Caribbean, Belize has the highest estimated prevalence rate of HIV among adults aged 15-49 at 2.1%. In 2008 for the first time the number of new cases in females outnumbered those in males. In fact the groups with the highest incidence were women 15-24 years of age and men 30-49 years of age.

The YWCA Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme trains barbers and beauticians in Belize and Orange Walk Districts as HIV/AIDS educators. The programme facilitates the availability of information that is needed to make informed decisions and take control of one’s life. The programme empowers the participants to be leaders in their communities. The beauty parlor, already a common community meeting place, becomes a non-threatening environment where we can reach those mostly affected by this disease. The programme also educates about safe sex and provides condoms for those whom abstinence is not an option. Since the project began, 18 barbers/beauticians in Belize City and 10 in Orange Walk have been trained as HIV educators. They also produced IEC materials for the BCC activities.
The Helping Early Leavers Programme is a two-year programme designed to provide alternative educational opportunities to young women who are unable to go on to high school. The programme was established in 1992 and offers all students instruction in academics (Math, English and Social Studies), life skills (health and hygiene, self-esteem, and work-readiness), computer skills and physical education. Girls can choose to study for the Primary School Examination or enroll in one of these three vocational streams:

Cosmetology
Sewing
Hospitality
Students in the vocational programs receive both theory and practical instruction, on-the-job training and small business training. To qualify for the program you need to:

1. Be between the ages of 13 and 18 years old
2. Be motivated and have a positive attitude towards others
3. Have basic reading and writing skills

H.E.L.P. Staff
Principal – Delarai Sanchez, M.Ed.
Cosmetology Teacher – Alvree Rhys
PSE Teacher – Jose Mai
Remedial Teacher – Merva Theus
Hospitality Teacher – Daneen Myvett
Sewing Teacher – Bertha Monjaras
Life Skills Teacher/Counselor – Marcie Carballo

Adult Skills

The YWCA Adult Skills Programme assists adults in obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary for work, further education, family self-sufficiency, and community involvement. It provides members of the community with opportunities to acquire marketable trade skills that empower them to create economic opportunities for themselves and their families. The skills gained in these programmes can be used to seek employment, start a new business, or improve an existing one.

Courses vary and can include cake decorating, food preparation and preservation, cosmetology, sewing and computers. Classes are offered on a part-time basis and cater to adults who work during the day. Classes are usually two evenings a week. Contact the YWCA office to request more information about upcoming classes.

Other Projects
Training for Single Mothers on behalf of Women’s Department
HIV Educaation and Awareness Programme: Funding from UNFPA
Learn to Swim Programme: Funding from Feona Stevenson Foundation
Power to Change: Funding from World YWCA
Leadership Development and Capacity Building
Advocacy and Services/Programmes
Good Governance and Accountability

After School

Need help in English or Math? We have the answer: after school remedial classes.

Reading
English
Spelling
Math
PSE preparation

Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday
Cost: $30/month
Registration: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Main Office
Tel: 203-4971
Email: bzeywca@yahoo.com

Pre-School

The first floor of the Early Childcare Centre houses the YWCA Pre-School. Pre-School prepares children age 3-5 years to enter the primary school system. Classes are split into a morning session and an afternoon session. Teachers guide students in educational, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual development. The Y Pre-School serves the Belizean community by providing its children with the quality education that provides a foundation for children to be successful in primary school and beyond.

Pre-School Staff

Principal
Nadine Harris

Teachers
Ienna Castillo
Glenda Nunez
Grace Williams
Tiffarah Dawson
Paulette Flowers
Geneva Francisco

Day Care

Located in the upstairs of the YWCA Early Childcare Centre, the YWCA Daycare offers all day or half-day care for children aged 2 months to 5 years, as well as afterschool care for children. Equipped with children’s furniture and educational toys, the Daycare Center provides a safe and enriching environment that will help to stimulate the development of your children. Activities include singing, story time, free play, and learning the national anthem and pledge. Parents can feel confident when leaving their children in the care of experienced and trained child-care workers.

Day Care Staff

Principal
Joan Blackett

Assistants
Melissa Dawson
Jacqueline Belisle
Magdalena Garcia

Summer Programmes

Every year the YWCA offers summer classes to the community. Over 500 women and youth participate each year. Last year, we had over 600 people attend our summer programme in classes such as, Math & English, Cooking, Cosmetology, Karate, Swimming and others, that encourage the mental, physical, and spiritual growth of the participants. Most classes meet Monday through Thursdays.

These classes are taught by volunteers from high schools, university students and volunteers from the community under the supervision of YWCA staff. Last year we had approximately 50 people volunteer their time and skills to helping others.

During the first session students take Math & English review. During the second session of the summer program students were given a more intensive reading course.

Cosmetology Course
The Cosmetology Course offers the participants an education in hair care and styling as well as nail care.

Cooking Course
In the Cooking Course, the participants are taught basic techniques as well as specific recipes. Each day the students learned a new recipe and prepared that dish.

Cake and Pastry Making Course
In Cake and Pastry Making, participants are taught the basics of baking and the art of making desserts. Each day the students are taught a new recipe that exemplified a technique and prepared that dish.