The Child Development Foundation (CDF), is a non-profit social justice organization registered in Belize, Central America since November 2008.
CDF works primarily with at risk youth populations and their families in Belize City and the Cayo District to establish a community based response to the issues creating vulnerability for youths especially child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and abuse. These issues are often precipitated in communities by high drop-out rates amongst youths, lack of educational and employment opportunities as well as a gang culture that seeks to recruit children faced with vulnerability created by abuse and parental neglect. CDF works with youths, families and community based organizations to identify the vulnerabilities in particular communities, to bring public awareness to the issues impacting youth, to providing intervention and psycho-social support as well as legal reform and strengthening of the governmental response to these issues.
Since its incorporation in 2008, CDF has provided general sensitization on domestic violence, child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and human trafficking to over 15, 000 youths in Belize and specialized training to over 1,000, police, teachers, customs officers, labour officers, social workers, counsellors, consular and embassy staff, and magistrates on the legal and psycho-social issues connected to sexual exploitation and human trafficking. In addition, the organization provides counseling, medical and educational services to child victims of abuse and exploitation and is building a rescue and rehabilitation facility to provide wrap around care.
CDF is staffed with youth trainers, program coordinator, finance officer, counsellors and adult trainers. More information can be found on FB at CdfBelize.
I am an attorney-at-law and legal consultant by profession. I specialize in issues connected to the protection of the rights of women and children, especially protection from abuse and exploitation. My profession qualifications include a Masters in Public Policy, a Bachelors in Law and Letters and a Certificate in Legal Education. My profession work includes the development of policies and protocols such as protocols for the Family Court in Belize; the National Care Model Protocols for the Care of Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation; Care Model Protocols for Facilities Working with Women who are Victims of Violence; development of Sexual Violence Protocols for the Police as well as other polices and standard operating procedures. In addition, I have conducted research on women and children's rights including the Situational Analysis for Women and Children in Belize, 2011; the Vulnerability Analysis of the Child Protection System, 2004 and has also drafted laws to support legal reform. I have also developed and conducted training workshops, webinars and seminars on these issues. In 2008 I founded The Child Development Foundation as a non-profit social justice organization to advocate for better legal and social protection for women and children and to support direct interventions at the community level to improve conditions for girls and women and to provide rehabilitation from sexual violence.
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