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May 20, 2015

DYS Holds Open Day

The Department of Youth Services held its open day today, and they were showing off major developments. After months of trying to install a music studio in Collet Division, Education Minister Patrick Faber was able to do so at the Department’s Office on Regent Street. Through an education grant from the Southside Poverty Alleviation Fund, they were able to create spaces that will not only serve residents in the city. Andrea Polanco joined the Minister and volunteers today for the official opening:

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Department of Youth Services unveiled two spanking new spaces, expanding their services targeting youth. Minister of Education Patrick Faber says the purpose is to a create safe and enriching facility:

 

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

Patrick Faber

“This, the home of the department of the youth services, we want to make it very friendly for our young people. The lounge that was opened this afternoon was a youth friendly space and was designed by the young people and we also see the games in this space, so this is a place they can come and hang out if you will.”

 

As the first ribbon was cut today, it revealed a colourful and relaxing lounge fitted with games. And then there was the fully equipped recording studio. All in an effort to engage young people on another level:

 

Sabreena Daly

Sabreena Daly, Volunteer & PR for DYS

“Basically what we decided to do is to showcase what all we are offering to them because if we are here to provide services, it shouldn’t just be for things like for school and stuff like that; you should have fun things. The room where we are standing in is the youth lounge, where the youths are able to come and have fun. You can bring your friends here; you can have organizations here and little informal meetings. It looks fun. It has games. You can bring your games; there is a projector here so you can have a good time here. Additionally, there is now the recording studio and that has been getting up the crowd because you are able to showcase your talents because not everyone has had the opportunity to go into a recording studio door. There are a lot of talented students in Belize, so I was really passionate about going in there and seeing them rapping and singing. You can do poetry in there. A lot of stuff you can do in that room.”

 

Faber says he hopes young people will take advantage of the facility and use it as a platform to for personal development:

 

Sabreena Daly

“We are hoping this can be yet another positive activity and keep our young people off the streets and do great things. We hope that we can maybe do a production, produce a CD with various artists and help to promote and market and the proceeds will go back in to our young people and make them productive and this will help us in our quest to fight crime and make Belize better.”

 

And the facility is powered by volunteers.

 

Brianna Neal

Brianna Neal, Volunteer

“I enjoy working with youths and many times people say there is no resource for youth and can’t get a job, but there is. If we all just sit down. We are not going to help any at all. The best reward I get out of it is when I see someone a couple days after and they say thank you because you helped me in such a way or seeing them change from a negative role to a positive role.”

 

Andrea Polanco reporting for News Five.

 

The studio and lounge will be maintained by the Department of Youth Services under the Ministry.

 

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