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Jun 30, 2004

Hostel youths help community

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Just as not all teachers are on holiday, it’s not necessarily true that all Belizean children are running wild. Today News 5′s Jacqueline Woods visited one site in Belize City where youthful energy was being usefully channeled.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Looking at eleven-year-old Mike Smith, you would not know that only five months ago, he had to be brought to the youth hostel because of uncontrollable behaviour. But Smith and other troubled children from the institution have been working on attitude adjustment through the reintroduction of a summer outreach programme. Today, the youths visited the Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly where they spent the morning house cleaning and helping the seniors.

Jorge Aldana, Assistant Supervisor, Youth Hostel

?Well they need to appreciate first of all what the country have to offer them and what the public in turn give them. They need to learn to appreciate those things that will help them to change their lives.?

?Most of them are uncontrollable behaviour; some of them are there for a little burglary, simple little crimes that they commit. Some are committed there and some of them are voluntarily there, but over all they are nice kids and they just need a little bit of loving and attention.?

According to officials, the youths are giving back to those institutions that have helped them. The children say they are enjoying the new responsibility.

Arvington Neal, Fourteen years old

? I di change, because first I used to be bad, but now because I am in hostel and they put me to work, the same thing I will be doing out there.?

Jacqueline Woods

?How do you see the work you?re doing right now helping you to make a positive change??

Mark Smith, Eleven years old

?Well that is helping me to make me learn more better, to change when I go back on the street.?

The children have already been to the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Centre and will be visiting other locations on Friday. Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

In the month of July, the children will be involved in activities including arts and craft as well as recreational tours to Gracie Rock Village, the Belize Zoo, and Community Baboon Sanctuary.

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