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Jan 29, 2015

Youth Hostel Launches Public Safety Program

In late November, the Getaway Youth Center was officially opened at the Gwen Lizarraga Compound in Belize City. The initiative is aimed at assisting youths to safely develop skills to reintegrate into society an live productive lives. This morning, another component of the Community Action for Public Safety Project was launched at the Youth Hostel on the George Price Highway. Duane Moody was there and has this report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Ministry of Human Development today officially opened a Dormitory Facility, a Resource/Visitor’s Center as well as a renovated Carpentry Building and Sporting Grounds at the Youth Hostel located at mile twenty-one on the George Price Highway. It’s part two of an initiative of the Community Action for Public Safety (CAPS) Project that seeks to reduce youth involvement in violent crimes.

 

Starla Bradley-Acosta

Starla Bradley-Acosta, Director, Community Rehabilitation Department

“The support for juvenile social rehabilitation and it aims to reduce recidivism among youth in the intervened juvenile rehabilitation institutions; namely, the Youth Hostel under the Ministry of Human Development, the National Youth Cadet Service Corps, our neighbors next door and they come under the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports and the Wagner’s Youth Facility at the Belize Central Prison. As you can imagine, the successful implementation of the activities have been a primary focus of the community rehabilitation department over the past three years and I am happy to report that we continue to maintain a strong partnership with Wagner’s Youth Facility and the National Youth Cadet and together we hope to be able to report positive outcomes as already we are seeing some promising results when it comes to reintegration of our youths into society.”

 

The multimillion dollar project was funded through a loan facility between the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Belize. IDB Country Representative, Anneke Jessen, says it was made possible through the collaborative effort from several ministries.

 

Anneke Jessen

Anneke Jessen, IDB Country Representative

“I haven’t gone in yet, but I think the facilities look really impressive and fresh and beautiful from outside, and I am sure that they provide a much more safe and comfortable environment in which all of you aim to promote learning, personal development, team building among the young people who are all there in the back. And of course young people are Belize’s greatest asset and its future. So investment in them is one of the most important things you can do in your country. Of course, infrastructure is only a small part of the program but it is an essential one because it creates the necessary environment for all the learning and coaching activity and the CAPS to the implemented effectively.”

 

It’s a significant achievement for the rehabilitation facility that has increased the services it offers as well as the number of marginalized youths it deals with on a daily basis. Apart from the sleeping quarters, the facilities also provide classrooms, books, multimedia materials and equipment for recreational and educational development.

 

Mark King

Mark King, Minister of State, Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation

“These new buildings will bring with them not only a more spacious or organized environment, but will afford us various opportunities to deliver new programs and services and strengthen existing ones. Various opportunities to deliver new programs and services at the Youth Hostel is in fact that population that is mixed—children between the ages of twelve and seventeen years—some who come having charged with criminal offense; others for uncontrollable behavior. Males and females, low, medium and high risk; for uncontrollable behavior, offenders and all housed together. Issues such as these have created obstacles to the rehabilitation process. As a result, in the past, juveniles who have left the facility often return to the system.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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1 Response for “Youth Hostel Launches Public Safety Program”

  1. puttoright says:

    While the initiative is good, it is very depressing when people who should be role model to these young children are the same one whose life is full of shame. Yes Ms. Director, Misses that is, is known to meddle in people relationships. Recently she had a baby for a married man , and boastfully went around stating this. The problem with our country today, stems from having people who have no morals, going around and trying instill moral in others. Imagine that! Clean your house home wreaker director.

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