Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Youth for the Future Program, of tiny Belize.
Youth for the Future, BELIZE


Youth for the Future is a Youth Centered Agency whose primary responsibility is the empowerment of young people to participate meaningfully in the present and future development of Belize at every level. It is important to Belize, because 70% of the small population never even finished primary school. Belize is much poorer than surrounding Central American countries. The Youth for the FUTURE is also responsible for the 4 – H agriculture youth program and the National Cadet Service Corps. The main agency funding the program is the SOCIAL INVESTMENT FUND, which funds projects aimed at addressing the basic needs of all Belizeans in an honest and transparent manner, utilizing a community based approach. It is reported there are branches in all districts of Belize. The Social Investment Fund was established in 1996 as a statutory body. There have been 427 projects valued at $52.6 million Belize currency, in areas such as Water and Sanitation, Health programs, Economic Infrastructure, Education, Social Services, Organizational strengthening of government in a decentralized system for only 300,000 people scattered over rugged mountain jungle country covering over 6000 square miles.
There was recently a graduation of a ten week training program with a graduation ceremony, with 158 persons, where young and middle aged Belizeans took training . The training was funded by the Government of Belize, the Caribbean Development Bank, and implemented through the offices of the Social Investment Fund, using the YOUTH FOR THE FUTURE group.
This approach to fighting poverty, is contrary to that of the centralized OIL RICH VENEZUELAN dictatorial system of centralized socialism. You would have to call this the democratic capitalist approach, to help people help themselves, with an uplift by the bootstraps to do so. There is an oft quoted cliché in Belize, that says it is better to teach a person to fish for food, than just give him the fish.
Belize still has not reached the point where population growth and thus greater GDP and tax flows can support a big enough government to be totally effective over such a wide geographical terrain. For example I noted yesterday Saturday that our town garbage was picked up by a tractor and wagon, from a farm, with two campesino illiterate workers doing the lifting. It is not that Belize has no fancy modern garbage trucks. It is just that these modern gadgets turn out to be too expensive to maintain and run for the poor country in garbage collection. The garbage collection cost using modern garbage trucks, along with investment amortization, turned out to be more than the total annual Town Council cash flows from business taxes and property taxes, including the occasional National GRANT called a subvention.

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