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Sep 27, 2001

Hostel residents dine in style

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On Wednesday, living conditions at the youth hostel in the Belize District improved significantly as a new dining facility was officially opened. The building, located at mile twenty-one and a half on the Western Highway, will provide plenty of space for the children to use for a range of activities. Residents showed their appreciation by performing a series of presentations for the dignitaries attending the ceremonies. Minister of Human Development and Civil Society, Dolores Balderamos Garcia, says a comfortable environment is key to rehabilitation and promises to change the public’s perception of the youthful offenders.

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Min. of Human Dev./Civil Society

“I want to say that we’re very happy to be making this kind of stride at the Youth Hostel because the physical amenity of anywhere is very important. Of course, you need the staff and we need the programme. And our object really is not just for the Youth Hostel to grow, that’s not the object. But we do know that we need a facility for young boys and young girls who need the rehabilitation. I have one little self-criticism of our ministry this afternoon, that is when we put out the press release that this programme was going to take place today, the press release spoke about delinquent children and uncontrollable behaviour. That is language from back in the 1950s and in colonial days. I want to pledge to our Prime Minister that we’ll start to change that language, because we don’t believe in delinquent children, I think we are all delinquent in some way or another. So we are going to start to change the language and we will move in our actions as well as in our words to a really effective community rehabilitation department.”

In addition to physical improvements, the hostel has also added a resident medical doctor, a psychologist and a new superintendent to its staff to further aid in the rehabilitation process.

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