Located in Central America, Belize lies within the hurricane belt and is prone to annual tropical storms and severe floods. Colonisation, slavery, and immigration have played major roles in affecting the ethnic composition of the population of Belize resulting in it being renowned as a country with numerous cultures, languages, and ethnic groups. Current concerns include high unemployment, high crime rates, and one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in Central America. Family life for some in Belize can be a struggle with the number of single headed households rising and large numbers of the population affected by poverty. According to one source almost 40% of all children aged 17 and younger live in poverty, and the proportion is even higher in rural areas and among certain ethnic groups.
Mothers’ Union in Belize play a crucial role in supporting family life through a number of outreach and empowerment programmes. Although small in number, the 75 members of Mothers’ Union are very active within their communities with activities including:
Support for the elderly
School feeding programmes
Raising awareness of HIV/AIDs
Skills training for women
In 2018 Mothers’ Union in Belize hope to train more parenting facilitators in order to be able to expand their existing parenting groups to more families across the country.
Community Development Coordinators (CDC’s) are professionally trained community development staff, employed by local Mothers’ Union’s to help and support members as they engage with their churches and wider community.