Rural community development workers forming village councils in Cayo

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Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2022. 6:21 p.m. CST.

Photo credit: Ministry of Rural Transformation

By Ruben Morales Iglesias: Southern and Central Rural Community Development Officers (RCDOs) completed their first week of village council training in Cayo District, said the Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labor and Local Government.

“The rural community development agents have the responsibility to provide this training”, said Elsa Cardinez, Rural Development Coordinator. Cardinez said the Ministry of Rural Transformation is responsible for half of Belize’s population, as it is responsible for 194 village councils and communities nationwide. At present, after the village council elections held recently, the ministry is in the process of swearing in the new village councils and training the new village council members, Cardinez said.

“This week, our RCDOs were able to use the tools and skills they acquired during their training of trainers to conduct training aimed at building capacity and educating village councils on their roles and responsibilities,” the ministry said in a social media post.

According to the RCDOs, after the swearing-in ceremonies, they conduct training for new village council members to teach new members how village councils should be run for the benefit of their communities.

“After the swearing in, we provide further counseling at home and this is an ongoing process for each village council,” said Ismer Ortega, North Regional Coordinator.

“We have a lot of requests from these communities, so we will address them one by one.”

“We now plan to meet with them frequently,” said Jaime Jiménez, rural community development worker.

“The ministry is responsible for forming village councils based on the Village Councils Act,” said RCDO Adrian Cus.

Cus said that during the training they reviewed the law and regulations of the village council and the water board.

“We let them know what their roles and responsibilities are as a board and of course financial accountability and transparency,” Cus said.

“This is part of a plan to ensure that these village councils engage their people. We are going to offer three training sessions,” Cardinez said.

“The first is effective communication, conflict resolution and proposal writing. With the support of the National Association of Village Councils and the District Association of Village Councils, they will be able to get the support and economic viability they need to be able to develop their communities. »

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