Belmopan – Today the U.S. Embassy hosted a special ceremony to celebrate the successful completion of “Money Smart,” a financial literacy training for Belizean youth. Featuring remarks by Prime Minister John Briceňo, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Leyla Moses-Ones, and implementing partner Peacework Director Dr. Carol Babb, the event commended students and principals from each of the three participating schools.
The three-month Money Smart program provided 117 primary school students from underrepresented communities in southside Belize City practical tips for responsible money management and for setting realistic and constructive financial goals. At the end of the program, many of the participants became first-time applicants for savings accounts, with a view to launching long-term investments to secure future financial goals.
In his address, Prime Minister John Briceňo announced, “The objective of this program is to help students to think of innovative ways to solve challenges concerning their finances. It is anticipated that the ideals imparted during this program will have a lasting and positive effect on these students’ education and in time will impact their quality of life and that of their communities.”
U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Leyla Moses-Ones noted, “Smart money management begins at any and every age. Our partner schools are located in Southside Belize City, an area with great potential but perhaps historically disadvantaged for youth whose big dreams include financially prosperous paths. Expanding the number of “money smart” individuals in an underserved community can be transformative and can lead to improved local investments, job opportunities, and innovations that drive lower crime rates, and a higher quality of life for everyone.”
Peacework Belize Director Dr. Carol Babb in her remarks emphasized, “Financial literacy is a life skill that must be taught to achieve financial independence.”
Today’s closing ceremony coincides with National Financial Literacy Month, which is dedicated to bringing awareness to the need for more financial literacy education in schools. Since 2020, the U.S. government has contributed approximately U.S. $62,800,000 in direct and indirect economic development assistance to Belize.