Meet the Organizers of the
Tek Time fi Read Project
A project created by young people for young people!
The “Tek Time fi Read” Project was created and is run by Belmopan Youth Spiritual Empowerment Groups. The youth decided to take on the goal of making reading fun and helping encourage a love for reading in Belizean children and teens. They came up with the idea of a FUN Book Festival to get thousands of books into people’s homes…and the project grew from there! (see timeline)
The Belmopan Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program (BYSEP) is part of a global Baha’i-inspired program that helps young people resist the negative forces around them, see themselves as service-oriented leaders, and agents of change in their communities. The members are 12-19 years-old and the current group of youth have been together for over 7 years and has over 30 active members. Many of the group’s leaders are graduates of the program. (Read about the Jr. Youth Empowerment Program for 12-15 year-olds)
Their weekly meetings consist of music, prayer, and games, followed by discussing current topics, concerns, and issues they are dealing with. They make plans for upcoming service projects and activities. They study a series of workbooks designed to help them navigate this crucial age and develop their capacities. They also do arts, games, sports, community service, public speaking, music, film-making, drama, and social time.
They are an extremely close group that has learned the power of true friendship and unconditional love for each other. They treat each other as equals and support each other through hard times.
A key part of the program is planning and participating in community service projects. As the group has matured they have taken on more impactful and complicated projects. The youth decide what they want to do and then plan and execute their ideas. Their biggest project to date is the “Tek time fi Read” Project. (more about the project). In 2018 the won the National Youth Award’s “Volunteerism/Community Service Award”.
Other projects they have organized:
- Renovated and created a new children’s ward at the Belmopan hospital
- Organized a neighborhood-wide clean-up to clear creek after hurricane
- Collected and distributed food baskets to needy families
- Identified and reached out to at risk and depressed classmates
- Created awareness videos about suicide and bullying
- Raised food and money for the Red Cross
- Collaborated with Oceana and City council on city and park clean-ups
- Volunteered at the primary school they used to attend to do clean-up and set up the library