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International Youth Day 2021

Belize’s Young on the front line of taking care of our only home

The theme for international youth day 2021 is Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health. In Belize, there is much talk about being a self sustaining nation and localizing a way of life that is in line with the concept of ‘One Health.’ It is a concept that recognizes the interconnectivity of people, plants, animals and the environment. This concept is more of an ideology for our indigenous people’s, the Garinagu and Maya, whose lives have always been intimately connected to land and sea.

There are some young people in Belize who have been leading the charge of planting what we eat and connecting that with entrepreneurship and environmental protection. This IYD, I want to give these stellar young people their flowers!

Meet 21 year old sisters Noammi and Nommi! On their instagram @gardeningwiththetwins they share nifty tips on starting up your own garden using their family farm as the classroom.

This dynamic duo manage to show us the gentle sides of farming when they share their beautiful blossoms with us often adorned by bees. They also let us know that they know farming is hard work, sporting boots and putting the pick axe to ground. They grow all the things to make the perfect Belizean meal!

Meet Jaleel Lino, chairperson of YADLIT pronounced Yawd Light ! The Youth Association Developing Livelihood in Toledo is a community based organization committed to the development of sustainable livelihood in our southern most district.

Of course, like most well oiled community ventures this is not a one man show. Jaleel is flanked by board members who all contribute to the mission and vision of the organization be it on the farm or one of their three internet series Cooking 101, Unfinished Business and my personal favorite Farmville Fridays. They also run a digital literacy course and offer high school scholarships to community members powered by revenue generated from the farm and other community members. This electric team have truly fostered a space where development and inspiration meet. To learn more about the work they do check out their instagram @_yadlit_!

Finally, meet Julio Chub who works as a Community Liaison Officer with one of my favorite conservation agencies, Ya’axché Conservation Trust. Julio practices what he teaches on his own farm Chub’s Farm. You can follow that journey here: Chub’s Farm!

Julio is one of the most gentle, patient and committed persons I’ve ever met! We crossed paths while I served as the youth focal point for Belize’s national steering committee for the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Program. His presentations were always stellar but he stood out because of the passion for his work within the communities he knows best. Read more about Julio’s work here.

While you’re here!

Join Caribbean residents and concerned citizens from around the world and sign the “Stay Alive and Thrive” petition now!

Help the Caribbean Youth Environment Network reach our initial target of 2,970 signatures, which represents the number of days separating COP26 from 2030; the year beyond which climate scientists have warned will be too late to reverse the negative impacts of climate change.

Published by Dominique Noralez

Spirit. Human. Belizean. Black. Wombmxn. Agape Tributary. Youth Leader.

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