Frequently Asked Questions - All FAQs
RESTORE Belize’s mission is “to make Belize a safe, vibrant home for residents through inclusive, multi-sectoral and citizen-centered action.” Our mandate is to accomplish this through the coordination of national and international investments in programmes that directly address crime and violence on the streets as well as those programmes that address the root causes of crime and violence. We have established mechanisms to increase the collaboration between Ministries and other agencies working in the social sector. Furthermore, we are charged with the responsibility to secure new financial, technical and human resources to increase the investment in the national solutions to crime and violence. We are not an implementing agency but we do work closely with many implementing agencies, both government and non-government. In a few cases, RESTORE Belize is the lead implementing agency for specific programmes, such as the Metamorphosis Programme and the I AM Belize Public Education Campaign. This is only the case where there are gaps that no other agency is currently filling. For a full description of the specific programmes that we are currently working on, please explore our website.
RESTORE Belize secures funding for ALL of its programmatic activities from national and international donors. This includes, for example, funding for the I AM Belize Scholarship Programme, the computer-assisted literacy and numeracy programme, the I AM Belize Profiles, etc. The Government of Belize pays some staff salaries. Additionally, some staff are seconded from other government ministries for a period of time.
RESTORE Belize has a national scope. Because its mission and strategic objectives focus specifically and restoring peace and reducing crime and violence, many of its programme target areas that are already impacted by violence and crime, or areas where violence and crime are on the increase. Specific programmes that are being implemented in various regions in the country are the TOMS Shoes Distribution for school children, the Computer Assisted Learning Software, and the I AM Belize Scholarship Programme. On the other hand, the Peace in the Parks and Midnight Basketball have focused on specific neighborhoods in Belize City.
From its inception in 2010, RESTORE Belize established the Yarborough Safe Zone as a focal area for concentrated social investments. That area has benefited from a greater concentration of activities. This approach is chosen to maximize the immediate impact on specific communities that have been worn down by crime and violence. These investments in the Yarborough area are continuing with collaboration from the Belize City and the United Nations Country Team. It is fully intended that this model of geographically concentrated investments will be extended to additional areas within the next 3 years.
RESTORE Belize works primarily with communities and individuals who have been impacted by crime or who are working to establish peace. RESTORE Belize has a policy of inclusiveness and we particularly target those persons or groups who are often socially excluded. Some of the programmes we run, such as the Metamorphosis Programme and the I AM Belize Scholarship Programme are geared towards beneficiaries from a particular background and of a specific age and these programmes are tailored specifically to the needs of that group. Other programmes like Peace in the Parks target whole communities who have been heavily impacted by crime, with a focus on providing family-friendly activities that cater to citizens of all ages.
The Conscious Youth Development Programme is the primary agency that works directly with gangs in a variety of programmes including gang truces, conflict mediation, employment, and social re-integration programmes. During the Gang Truce which was agreed in September 2011 between the major gangs in Belize City, the Government of Belize supported the peace by offering a work programme which employed approximately 200 gang-affiliated persons throughout Belize City. During that time, RESTORE Belize served as a member on the Gang Truce Coordination Committee. Our primary role was to work with CYDP and the Gang Truce Mediator to ensure that the government was meeting its obligations and to secure additional resources to support the Gang Truce. The Gang Truce Work Programme ended in September 2012. CYDP continues to provide gang intervention services to all interested parties, including peace keeping activities such as conflict mediation and sporting competitions between rival gangs.
The scholarship programme offers scholarships to high school students. The programme is currently full. On-going support is being provided to students who were recruited prior to September 2012 but no funds are available to take in new recruits. RESTORE Belize is currently seeking additional funding for high school scholarships and hopes to make new scholarships available in the near future. If funds do become available, applications will be accepted from students who demonstrate commitment to education and great financial need.
RESTORE Belize receives donations for very specific programme activities with strict guidelines on how funds are to be spent. In some cases, assistance is given directly to individual beneficiaries e.g. through the I AM Belize Scholarship programme. In all cases, there are eligibility criteria by which RESTORE Belize would decide if you can be a beneficiary. If the support that you are requesting falls within the guidelines of one of our programmes, then you can call our office, send us an email or stop by and we will advise you how to apply.
In other cases, resources that we secure are given to another organization which works directly with beneficiaries. For example, in the Computer-Assisted Learning Programme, computers and software were given to agencies such as the YMCA, Water Walkers, the UBAD Educational Foundation, and others, who would then offer literacy and numeracy training to their clients.
The technical and financial resources we secure may also be used to provide training (e.g. Conflict Mediation Programme) or to sponsor a particular activity (e.g. Midnight Basketball and Peace in the Parks.) Please explore our website to learn more about our specific programmes. In all cases, RESTORE Belize must account to the donor for how the funds are spent and we are obliged to use it for the agreed purpose.
RESTORE Belize does not receive discretionary funds from the Government of Belize or from its donors and so we are not able to respond to ad-hoc requests for assistance.