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Mar 27, 2018

Light Our Hearts on City Streets

Various organizations are doing their part in calling for an end to the violence against children. Over the weekend, Light Our Hearts organized a parade and rally in the city. Families who have lost their loved ones joined the event endorsing prayers as a powerful tool to ease the grip on the pain of losing their young innocent children. News Five’s Duane Moody spoke to family members who are experiencing grief.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Mothers, relatives and friends of persons who lost their lives to the unending gun violence in urban Belize gathered for a peace march and rally over the weekend at the Memorial Park in Belize City. Their mission is for the healing process to start for those aggrieved families who are looking for justice for the murder of their loved ones. ‘Light Our Hearts’ is the brainchild of Shakera Young, who lost her seven-year-old son, Tyler Savery senselessly to gun violence back in November 2016.

 

Shakera Young

Shakera Young, Organizer, Light Our Hearts

“The walk was basically us taking a stand and saying that we are going to walk through the streets and we are allowing God to heal the nation. This isn’t about me, this isn’t about anybody; it is about allowing us as a country to move forward. And it takes me, it takes every single person within a home to do this and so I applaud who came out because it means that they are serious about the change and they are willing to allow God to come into this nation. So the march went very well.”

 

According to Young, the initiative is to bring a revival to Belize from a spiritual perspective. Instead of a balloon release and candlelight vigil, a time of ministry and prayer was held with those in attendance in order for them to forgive the perpetrators that killed their loved ones.

 

Shakera Young

“It’s all a heart issue that everybody goes through. I went through it so I can say that I know. They have to get rid of anger, un-forgiveness; sadness. They are quite in a dark place right now and right now we are allowing God to say he is going to come in and heal the hearts of the people—not us, but we are going to give ourselves to be used. So from here, we hope to form a different support group that will get these women grounded spiritually, even the men. And then we go forward from there because I intend to have this thing become a national thing.”

 

Treshawn Goff

In recent times, there has been an increase in the number of children, who have become victims of sexual abuse and violence. Seventeen-month-old Alyssa Nunez was allegedly raped in Maskall Village and died within days at the K.H.M.H. on March fifth. The country was still reeling from that unthinkable incident, when four-year-old Port Loyola Pre-school student, Treshawn Goff was shot and killed that same night in front of his home on Nurse Findley Crescent in Belize City. It’s been just about three weeks since his passing and his mother, Latifah Sutherland, shares her emotions associated with moving on. She says the pain of losing a child is different from that of a sibling or a mother.

 

Latifah Sutherland

Latifah Sutherland, Mother of Treshawn Goff

“This pain dah wah pain I woudla never wish on my worst enemy. I swear to God. People say be strong, be strong, you have a second child…be strong. But they don’t understand; it noh easy, especially when the person well my baby—that dah my firstborn. I noh di say I love my son more than my daughter; I love them equally, but me and him had a special bond because he was there before, long before my daughter. But just fi know that he no wah deh deh, fi his personality alone make yo miss ahn more because things weh he woulda do. If I woulda deh home just by myself and just di sit down and no di say anything to anybody, he wah come, “Mommy, you alright?” And he wah come hug up, love up, kiss up. Me and he could quarrel to blows and two minutes after he come right back and hug up and kiss up. Dah dah mi just my baby. But the pain, dehn noh have no words to describe. Some days I got mixed emotions. Some days I say imagine I just di walk go dah shop and I meet one of the persons weh do it, I think I woulda go dah jail. and then some other days, I feel like I woulda just left it ina God’s hands; I woulda just walk pass them. Yo have mixed emotions; yo coulda neva tell weh storm yo woulda face every day yo get up cause every day yo get up dah wah differ storm yo face.”

 

‘Belizeans need to stop living in fear’ is among one of the messages sent by the attendees. Sutherland says she had to attend the ‘Light Our Hearts’ rally for the support and comfort that a grieving mother needs.

 

Latifah Sutherland

“If I neva deh out yah, I no think it mi wah be right. I have to stand up. It never had to take my son fi die like this fi I fi mi stand up. I feel fi everybody kids weh past away especially killed that way deh. I just come support because I really want the change ina Belize. I tired of it. It really hurt bad, bad that my son done gone. Only thing I can live with now dah memories of what we have, watch pictures and just try live off of that. I can’t hold him physically to say well mommy I love you, hug you; that noh deh no more. And just the thought of that make yo hurt more and more every day. So if being out here woulda put wah change ina society, I definitely deh with it a hundred percent.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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