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Fifteen Women to Receive Training in Fruit Preservation

Sep 8, 2023

Fifteen Women to Receive Training in Fruit Preservation

Today, fifteen women – mostly single mothers – were accepted into a training program spearheaded by Hand in Hand Ministries. The women, had at one point, received a house from Hand in Hand and are now still in need of help to become independent. Through a project called CRASH, an acronym for Capacity Roadmap: A Sustainable Hope, the women will be empowered to do just that. It’s a collaborative effort between Hand in Hand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Taiwanese Government which provides the funding. Today, News Five’s Marion Ali was at a launch ceremony for the training on fruit preservation. Here’s that report.

Marion Ali, Reporting

Fifteen women who are looking to boost their economic status will, over the next two weeks, receive training on fruit preservation and marketing. The training comes through a partnership between Hand in Hand Ministries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of Taiwan. Project Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexia Perez, explained that the training falls under the Women Economic Empowerment Project, which the ministry and the Taiwanese Embassy have been running for the past two years.

Alexia Perez

Alexia Perez, Project Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“Myself as a project officer, worked together with the Taiwan Technical Mission to reach out to organizations across Belize. We worked with government organizations, non government organizations, non-profit organizations, grassroots women groups, to be able to have these projects reach women across the country for capacity building. In this case, we reached – Hand in Hand Ministries reached out to us and we were able to have them submit a proposal. We reviewed the proposal and then we go on to implementation to have the training happen.”

The Taiwanese government, through its International Cooperation and Development Fund, subsidizes projects like these to help women enhance their vocational and entrepreneurial skills. Taiwan Embassy’s Third Secretary, Irene Wu, told News Five that the value of the training is approximately fourteen thousand dollars.

Irene Wu

Irene Wu, Third Secretary, Taiwan Embassy

“The overall budget is still ongoing, and then it will be executed toward the end of this year. And then we, mostly through Taiwan Technical Mission, work with Foreign Affairs to implement those projects. Also, together with the Taiwan Technical Mission, we work with local different organizations to implement the project.”

The hope for Hand in Hand Ministries is that the project will create enabling opportunities for the women to the point where they can also help others.

Abel Vargas

Abel Vargas, Director of Operations, Hand in Hand Ministries

“Once we build a house for them, they become like partners with us. So we follow them and we try to empower them as they need to. And so from them, we gather this group of 15 women. They’ll learn how to preserve fruits, preserve produce, in order that, uh, they could have it for longer for themselves, and also to market. They will also learn how to market, how to do a business plan, how to do small financing, how to do little accounting, and, uh, create actually a business plan.”

Sharet Hyde and her daughter have received a house from Hand in Hand Ministries. She told News Five that this extra help will certainly come in handy for her family.

Sharet Hyde

Sharet Hyde, CRASH Trainee

“They treated us good and they built our house, we’re well, we’re happy, and now I’m super happy to be involved in something else. You know, I can’t wait for this program to begin and finish and, you know, get my little certificate. You never know, you learn something new, you get to meet different people, you know.”

Marion Ali

“What do you hope to do after you’ve completed the program?”

Sharet Hyde

“Man, you never know, I could make my own stuff to sell, you know, preserve it, you know, don’t get spoiled, you could, you know, you could teach other people too, you know. I have a lot of family, so, that’s good. It’s a good thing.”

Hand in Hand Ministries have built almost five hundred homes for single mothers who have needed that assistance. Reporting for News Five, I’m Marion Ali.