Nancy Marin Youth Foundation

Nancy Marin Youth Foundation2017-05-04T21:09:40+00:00

The Nancy Marin Youth Foundation seeks to transform the lives of youth and empower community leadership in Western Belize. We believe that empowering our youth by helping them develop their strengths will create stronger leaders for the future of our community. Building confidence through artistic expression and creative endeavors nurtures self-discovery.

This personal development is reinforced by mentorship, which helps our students make connections between their theoretical goals and the real-life experiences of their mentors. We believe that the cultural exchange with visiting international volunteers enriches the lives of both individuals and builds strong, meaningful, and lasting relationships. We hope that these experiences inspire our youth to aspire to higher goals.

We also seek to connect students with educational and vocational training opportunities to help them pursue their goals to the fullest extent possible. Supporting our students’ entrepreneurial activities by sharing information, networking, and providing infrastructures enables them to create their own economic initiatives.

Nancy Marin Youth Foundation:
Inspire At-Risk Youth at Camp Elevate

Camp Elevate is a one-week long day camp for at-risk youth during the week prior to Easter. Each day at the camp has a different theme so as to expose the campers to as many new experiences as possible. This is an exciting opportunity to bring joy to the children during an important Belizean holiday week. Most of these children do not typically have access to this quality of extracurricular activity and it is a very special treat for them.

Monday- Arts & Crafts

Tuesday- Music & Dance Therapy: Some children will participate in Dance Therapy, but others will simply take a music lesson with local instructors

Wednesday- Wilderness Challenges: Instructors and local guides will demonstrate wilderness survival skills such as safely starting a fire and building shelter. Other possible activities include a jungle medicinal tour, jungle scavenger hunt, and team building competitions.

Thursday- Athletics Day: We like to introduce the campers to sports that are not typically found in Belize. In the past we have taught archery, boxing & kickboxing, tetherball, and tennis.

Friday- Family Day: On the last day of camp we invite the friends and families of campers to come for an open house where they can see the art projects and activities that their children have been doing throughout the week.

Spend a week going on adventures with some very special kids under the Belizean sun! This project tends to be as fun for the volunteers as it is for the kids! They will thrive on your positive energy and enthusiasm.

Project Activities: Logistical planning, arts & crafts, music lessons, dance therapy (must be qualified to lead), wilderness survival training tasks (must be qualified to lead), scavenger hunt, team building, various sports games, and youth mentorship.
Duration: 10 days minimum. Must be during the specified Easter week dates.
Project availability: EASTER WEEK ONLY. See below for details.
Arrival day: The dates for Camp Elevate 2017 are Monday, April 10th- Friday, April 14th. We ask volunteers for the camp to arrive the previous Wednesday, April 5th for orientation and preparation days. This time will be used to go over the curriculum and complete the final arrangements for the camp.
Cost: Please contact us for a full package describing rates for various types of accommodation and meal plans.
Requirements: Age 16+ unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. We welcome families with children of all ages.
Working hours: Orientation to help you find your way around San Ignacio occurs on the afternoon/ evening of arrival day. Preparation days (Thursday & Friday prior to camp) will run from 9:00am-3:00pm so you can familiarize yourself with the curriculum. Camp sessions run daily from 9:00am-3:00pm, Monday-Friday. Volunteers are expected.

Volunteers are expected to lead and supervise campers during all activities. Volunteers that can offer some specialized assistance for one or more of the activities are highly valuable! If you have experience as a camp counselor or have experience with therapy, wilderness/ adventure training, etc. please make sure to highlight it in your resume/CV.
Volunteers must be able to work with children, especially while doing challenging activities for long periods of time. Positivity and good spirits are the most valuable assets a volunteer can bring with them! Our campers feed off the vibes of their leaders, so an upbeat personality is a must!

Nancy Marin Youth Foundation:
Teach Self-Defense for Children

Qualified volunteers are invited to volunteer with the Nancy Marin Youth Center as a Self Defense Trainer for adolescent girls (ages 10-18 years old). This unique violence prevention program is one of the first free and holistic self-defense programs for teens and pre-teens in Belize.

There is a pre-designed 9-week curriculum in place that includes safety planning and assertiveness training through self-defense. We also address strategies to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, gang involvement, and human trafficking.

Young girls and women in Belize are often victims of rape, domestic violence, and other types of intimate abuse. These abuses usually continue without intervention or justice. Unfortunately, the culture in our community is to shame victims instead of supporting them. This program seeks to strengthen our girls physically, mentally, and emotionally. We seek to give them support to rekindle their self esteem and to let them know that they are not alone in the fight for justice and self-reassurance.

Additionally, we want to ensure that should our girls have to suffer from future attacks, they will know what to do and how to resist. Belize has lost many of our young women to violence and we seek to decrease this number with your help as a volunteer instructor.

Project Activities: Teaching self-defense, mentoring young women
Duration: We require a minimum stay of 10 weeks. 1 week for orientation & preparation, and 9 weeks to complete the curriculum with your students. Stay up to 1 year by teaching multiple sessions!
Project availability: Available during all seasons
Arrival day: Flexible. Must arrive 1 week before beginning lessons.
Cost: Please contact us for a full package describing rates for various types of accommodation and meal plans.
Requirements: Age 18+, must have experience in teaching self-defense training and/or martial arts.
Working hours: The curriculum requires 3 hours of instruction 5 days a week. When school is in session, classes take place Monday-Friday 6:00pm-9:00pm.

Volunteers must be prepared to take on THE leadership role for this program. You are encouraged to instruct and teach your own style of self defense or martial arts, as long as the goals of the curriculum are met.

During your time with us, you may also be asked to oversee the organization and maintenance of teaching materials, data entry, filing, and scheduling school visits/ outreach programs. Additionally, we invite volunteers to help solicit donations and contribute content to the youth center’s social media accounts.

Formal education in self-defense or martial arts. Teaching experience in these areas is extremely valuable for this project. Please highlight these skills in your submitted resume/ CV.

Nancy Marin Youth Foundation:
Youth Camera Action Camp

Become a film and photography instructor and inspire the youth of Belize to create environmental, social, and political change through media. By sharing your skills and knowledge, volunteers will empower students and guide them in producing a short lm to be shared through online media. Students range from 11 to 18 years old. The camp is split into two sections- the first two weeks focus on filmmaking, while the latter two weeks focus on technical photography skills. These skill sets are highly sought after by Belize’s developing film industry.

This is a fantastic opportunity for our youth. One of our workshop graduates is no pursuing a career in online filmmaking, and another student is pursuing professional photography. Gaining these skill sets through the Youth Camera Action program opens doors for our students.

This is a great opportunity to work within a diverse multi-cultural team and share your areas of expertise. By imparting your knowledge, not on will you be inspiring other to pursue their passions- you may potentially create a future career path for them.

Project activities: Teaching film & photography, mentoring youth, logistics/ organizational planning, fundraising.
Duration: We require a minimum stay of 3 weeks. 1 week for orientation & preparation, and 2 weeks to complete the curriculum for one of the sections with your students. Stay up to 1 year by teaching multiple sessions!
Project availability: Available during all seasons. Youth Camera Action Camp runs twice per year with one session during the school year for students who cannot afford to attend high school. The other session happens during the summer for any interested students.
Arrival day: Flexible. Must arrive 1 week before beginning lessons.
Cost: Please contact us for a full package describing rates for various types of accommodation and meal plans.
Requirements: Age 18+, must have experience in film, photography or photojournalism, etc. Educational or mentoring experience extremely helpful.
Working hours: Camp days run Monday-Friday from 9am to 3pm.

Volunteers for the youth camera action camp will share their expertise with the students and support local experts with the delivery of the following program:

Film-Making (2 weeks):
The first week focuses on film evolution, telling a story, examining classic and contemporary tales and looks at the media landscape, critiquing, meanings behind short films and clips. The students will be introduced to media literacy by examining types of media, creator’s motivations and approaches to storytelling, and reviewing documentary vs. narrative filmmaking. The second week focuses on story creation, translating images into words, script development, character development, and screenwriting. Students write their own scripts using the skills and techniques they have learned, have an introduction to the photography process and on the final day, they design and deliver a script using the student’s text based work experimenting in script writing.

Photography (2 weeks- following the filmmaking camp):
The first week looks at camera operation and uses. Students learn the basics of choosing the right equipment, caring for lenses, understanding the camera, and more in-depth topics such as understanding the exposure triangle. Students will practice the basics of framing, proper lighting, and depth of field. This will culminate with the student having a better understanding of photography and its application in print media, leisure, and visual storytelling.
Previous volunteers have fundraised to purchase small digital cameras or collected second-hand cameras to donate to the program. Students are told to bring their own digital cameras to camp, but for some, this is a financial impossibility. Second-hand cameras can enable certain students to participate in this program and give them the tools to further pursue their passion.

Volunteers will have to be flexible and willing to work with limited resources. These students will not have SLR cameras and very likely do not have a computer in their household. The local library provides community access to computers. You might find these circumstances frustrating, but our students will benefit the most from learning camera skills adapted to their level of resource availability.

This project requires volunteers who have hands-on experience in the film industry so that they can give the students a balanced and detailed training. Volunteers with any of the following careers are highly sought after for the Youth Camera Action Camp: videographers, producers, scriptwriters, photographers, and editors. Please highlight your relevant skills in your submitted resume/CV. You may also be asked to attend a Skype interview to discuss the specifics of the camp. Above all, please bring your passion for film and positivity!

Nancy Marin Youth Foundation:
“Still I Rise”: Mental Health Outreach Initiative

The “Still I Rise” initiative began in 2014, when San Ignacio was losing many of its young women in a chain of suicides. When local social workers and community leaders intervened in an attempt to save the lives of these teen girls, they discovered that there were a wide variety of mental health problems within the community. Bullying and peer pressure of all kinds is rampant in our community, and can be extremely damaging to young women who are developing their sense of self-confidence.

The “Still I Rise” campaign is now an important mental health outreach program in the San Ignacio Community. Because mental health is still highly stigmatized in Belize, the main efforts of this campaign are focused on community outreach & awareness education. Mental health problems, especially depression, are often perceived as an excuse for “laziness”. Outreach is conducted through school visits and handing out educational brochures to young adults at events such as the weekly Saturday market, football games, and celebrations. The “Still I Rise” campaign also offers emergency counseling through local social workers and experienced police officers.

Mental health outreach can truly save lives in a culture where conversations about depression and other mental health problems are few and far between. Although you may not be able to witness tangible progress as you would with a construction project, rest assured that the outreach you do here has huge potential to positively change lives.

Project activities: Mental health awareness outreach & education.
Duration: We request a minimum stay of 2 weeks in order to have a proper orientation to the area and local culture and be able to visit a variety of locations for outreach activities.
Project availability: All year
Arrival day: Flexible
Cost: Please contact us for a full package describing rates for various types of accommodation and meal plans.
Requirements: Volunteers need to be well educated in mental health. They should at minimum have some university education in psychology, social work, or related fields. Certified counselors, therapists, and psychologists are preferred.
Working hours: Volunteers will visit schools Monday-Friday and should expect to work 9am-3pm. Saturdays are required for early morning market outreach (6:30am-9am)

Volunteers will conduct school visits to raise awareness about mental health issues, teach self-care & stress reduction techniques, and direct students in need to the appropriate resources. Volunteers will learn about the programs available in the San Ignacio area and receive training about the outreach curriculum before going on site visits. The highlight of the week is reaching out to people at the weekly Saturday market in town. This is where our volunteers have the highest impact and the widest reach in terms of spreading the word.

Qualified mental health professionals may be asked to provide emergency counseling services. A temporary license may be necessary for this. Please specify in your application if you are interested in providing this kind of service.

Volunteers should be able to talk extensively and respectfully about mental health problems with a variety of audiences. Volunteers need to be well educated in mental health. They should at minimum have some university education in psychology, social work, or related fields. Certified counselors, therapists, and psychologists are preferred. Please make sure that any official certifications are clearly visible on your resume/CV.

Nancy Marin Youth Foundation:
Dance Therapy

Unfortunately, child abuse still happens in Belize, and can leave children without confidence and a sense of self worth. Dance therapy is recognized as an effective therapy for children and young adults who have been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused. It encourages them to express themselves and builds self-esteem and a sense of self-worth. This helps them become more confident and overcome the emotional difficulties of feeling isolated. Dance therapy also allows students to learn more about dance and to just have fun- something that is often missing from their lives. Police, social services, and the courts refer children to the dance therapy program, but we also take walk-in participants who learn about us through word of mouth.

If you have a passion for the performing art, dance or movement therapy, then you can inspire others to express themselves through dance and movement. This project is still in its infancy, and experienced and enthusiastic volunteers who can help implement the program will be highly beneficial. Volunteers are invited to bring their own ideas and experience to the table to help further develop and integrate the program within the community. Volunteers will personally benefit from being able to practice counseling and therapy techniques while sharing their passion for dance and performing arts with at-risk youth.

Project activities: Dance/Movement therapy
Duration: Stay from 1 week to 7 weeks or more! Each chapter of the program is 1 week long, but you can teach as many or as few sections as you like.
Project availability: All year
Arrival day: Flexible
Cost: Please contact us for a full package describing rates for various types of accommodation and meal plans.
Requirements: Experience in (or studying) dance therapy or movement therapy is required. Masters in Dance Therapy preferred.
Working hours: Flexible

Volunteers at the dance therapy project will be asked to work with children and young people who have suffered abuse and develop their confidence through dance. You will show them different dance techniques and encourage them to express themselves through dance with the aim of increasing their self-worth.
Miss Amy VanBecelaere, an experienced activist and therapist with a Masters in Dance/ Movement Therapy & Counseling, has developed a detailed curriculum for our program. Through movement, ice-breakers, and art activities focused on the expression of emotions, we hope that our youth will be able to better express themselves and make significant progress through therapy. The program culminates in a final group performance that the group choreographs together.

The existing curriculum is organized in 7 chapters. The first two chapters focus on building relationships through good listening and communication skills. The later five chapters are known as the Champions Through Movement Curriculum and focus on a wider variety of topics as follows:
Chapter 3- Relaxation & Focusing
Chapter 4- Socialization & Peer Skills
Chapter 5- Anger Management & Coping Skills
Chapter 6- Building Self-Confidence & Self-Esteem
Chapter 7- Empowerment & Reducing Self-Blame
You may continue to develop the curriculum by adding your own ideas and activities while incorporating local music and dance trends.

Experience in (or studying) dance therapy or movement therapy is required. This placement requires volunteers to take initiative and command a leadership role while working without daily guidance. As always, enthusiasm for your craft and passion for working with children are the most important tools for volunteers.

Please clearly state your relevant qualifications in your resume/CV and be prepared to attend a Skype interview before being accepted to this project.

Nancy Marin Youth Foundation:
Teach Entrepreneurship & Business Workshops

Starting a small business can be a daunting task, but because of the lack of large chain businesses in Belize (McDonalds, Starbucks, etc) there are more opportunities in the market for small business owners. However, many lack the education to be able to take advantage of these opportunities.

Unfortunately, a high school education is not accessible for everyone in Belize. Public, private, and vocational secondary education schools cannot accommodate all primary school graduates and there are additional costs associated with being admitted to high school in Belize. For many students, the cost of tuition, uniforms, and books can be financially prohibitive. The business workshops run by the Nancy Marin Youth Foundation can provide a no-cost, educational opportunity for the most motivated students in our community.

If you are a business person and have a passion for sharing your experience and teaching, you will absolutely love this program. Our students are motivated and will soak up all the information you can share with them. Although you may not be able to witness tangible progress as you would with a construction project, you can return home knowing that you have given your students the tools to succeed and gain freedom through economic independence.

Project activities: Teach business skills to help increase the quality of life for motivated members of our community. Topics include forecasting, accounting, marketing, and more.
Duration: The entrepreneurship workshop curriculum is 6 weeks long. Volunteers will participate in several Skype conference calls with NM Productions staff to plan the details of the workshop before arriving in Belize.
Project availability: All year round. Only in session when volunteers are available.
Arrival day: Wednesday before workshop classes begin.
Cost: Please contact us for a full package describing rates for various types of accommodation and meal plans.
Requirements: At least a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field. Any additional job experience is extremely valuable so you can give your students real-life examples of the application of business strategies.
Working hours: Monday-Friday 9am-3pm.

Volunteers will have a high level of independence and may be asked to teach workshop classes without supervision. There is already a curriculum in place, which was developed by our first business coach, Karen Carter. There are a wide variety of topics covered in the existing curriculum and you must be comfortable speaking in detail about many business topics. Workshops are taught in community spaces in San Ignacio, but volunteers will have to bring all necessary materials to the teaching location. NM Productions will help volunteers locate the appropriate resources for the course.

At the end of the program, volunteers will help plan and put on a graduation ceremony. In the past, teachers and students have exchanged small gifts at this ceremony.

Applicants for this volunteer position should have at least a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field. There are a wide variety of topics covered in the existing curriculum and you must be comfortable speaking in detail about many topics. Any additional job experience is extremely valuable so you can give your students real-life examples of the application of business strategies. Experience in teaching or business coaching is also a plus.

Volunteers must be passionate for the work that they do and be motivated to teach students who have not had access to the same level of education. Bring a positive attitude and the flexibility to teach in a low-resource setting.

Please highlight your relevant skills and experience in your submitted CV/ Resume. A phone interview is required for this volunteer placement.