I thought I was attending an all morning meeting in Belize City until I got there and saw the agenda – it was a full day workshop from 9 am to 4 pm!
I had spent the previous day reading what I thought was the latest draft of the National AIDS Policy only to be given a more recent version. To add to my confusion there had been a strategy meeting on Monday which the NCA had not been told about and most of the people at today’s workshop had been at the strategy meeting and seemed to all know each other really well. There were about 30 people in attendance , all smiling joking and laughing with each other and for the first half hour I felt like running away!
Thankfully by the time we split up into our small groups to discuss and amend the policy I had regained my confidence and was ready to speak up for the rights of Older Person. Unfortanetly for me Older Persons are not high up on the political agenda in Belize so my views were not taken seriously enough.
I resigned myself to making simple grammatical corrections and decided that I would have to go back to Belmopan and rethink my strategy. Perhaps a presentation to a few members of the National AIDS Commission on older persons and their vulnerability may be a better way forward or if possible attending each and every district consultation workshop and just harping on non-stop about older persons. Maybe both?
Due to my late involvement with the National AIDS Commission and the fact I have been limited to Belmopan matters I am hesitant to start creating a lot of ‘trouble’; I feel like I do not know enough. I shall however give all my feedback to my placement leader and I know she shall keep pushing for older persons even after I am gone.
This has to be one of the most draining and mentally exhausting days so far and I was glad to be back in Belmopan.