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Apr 4, 2016

G.O.B. Breaks Ground for Rehab Center in Belize City

A four point six million dollar facility will be constructed in the south side of the City with part of a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. When completed, it will provide the space for sports, arts and culture, literacy and life skills programs for the youths of the areas. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Lake Independence area is one of the largest constituencies in the south side of Belize City and borders with Collet, Port Loyola and Freetown divisions. Today, the Ministry of Human Development Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation broke ground for the construction of a rehabilitation center off Lake Independence Boulevard. The center is part of the larger Youth and Community Transformation project that’s funded by Caribbean Development Bank.

 

Melissa Miralda

Melissa Miralda, Human Development Coordinator, Community Rehabilitation Department

“This is an occasion whose time has come after years of planning and aspirations towards the commencement of this essential facility. I can attest that this dream has been shared by our director, Miss Bradley, for some time now. We dreamt of a space that is protected an safe; that is owned by the community and where the germination of programs such as sports, arts and culture, literacy and life skills can be honed and shared.”

 

Judith Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development

“The Lake Independence Resource Center is intended to really provide a safe space in this community, focusing on young people and focusing on families. There will be sporting facilities within the resource center as well as spaces for us to provide parenting training, job preparedness, conflict resolutions, skills training, life skills on a whole and a number of other programs that we are currently undertaking.”

 

Anthony “Boots” Martine

The proposal for the project was put to tender and following a rigorous procurement process, South West Construction in joint venture with Wood Brick and Stone Company Limited won the bid.  The project is valued at four point six four six million dollars.

 

Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Minister of Human Development

“It is a welcomed initiative in my view I think that I support it wholly because by extension, this project dah noh only fi Lake Independence yo know; dah fi di south side. Fortunate enough that Lake Independence had the land space and the infrastructural project running through it and so it is very welcomed.”

 

But aside from this infrastructural development in the area, the YCT project will also see the strengthening of the capacity of several institutions across the south side of Belize City that provide literacy, sports and life skills programs.

 

Judith Alpuche

Judith Alpuche

“In other parts of south side, we are using existing organizations and facilities like Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence, the YMCA, the Yarborough Community Policing Center to provide the services that will be provided at the LIRC. So with the YCT project, we are trying to strengthen capacity of existing organizations as well as build capacity elsewhere; where there isn’t as much infrastructure, where there isn’t as much organizations working. We couldn’t just build one facility and that’s why we are using existing organizations, strategically placed in different areas, so that if young people have restrictions on their movement, that they have those facilities available closer to them so that they will be able to move. This works very well with another building that was done through another project—the CAPS Project—we have the Gateway Center that was recently built and they are providing similar type of programming.”

 

The construction of the rehabilitation center is projected to be completed by September. Duane Moody for News Five.

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