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Oct 22, 2018

Red Ribbon Week Declared Open at Wesley College

Wesley College is hosting its twentieth annual “Red Ribbon” week. The school dedicates a week each year to promote awareness of the impacts of drug use and abuse. To do this, the school hosts a number of activities to encourage students to engage in positive hobbies and resist influences. Andrea Polanco shares more from today’s ribbon cutting event:

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

“Life is a journey, travel drug free” is the theme for Wesley College’s twentieth annual Red Ribbon Week. It is week of activities used to promote drug awareness and smart decision-making among student population.

 

Joan Tillett

Joan Tillett, Principal, Wesley College

“I am sure that even though we are not catching all, we are catching a significant amount and we do have some influence on the ability to say no to drugs. For us it is very important that we help them to understand that it must not only be a one day thing and not just a slogan that you shout during drug week because it can affect their academic performance, it can affect them in so many different ways. And it will be good because I am sure that so many of them come from homes affected by drugs. And even though we say children live what they learn, we need to empower them so that they know that they can stem the tide and change for their children and their children’s children.”

 

A 2016 Inter-American Observatory Report surveyed two thousand high schoolers from thirteen Caribbean countries, including Belize, to find out their drug use habits. Belize ranked in the top two surveyed countries with highest rates of alcohol drinking and smoking of tobacco and marijuana among high schoolers.  That report two years ago, revealed that ten percent of fourteen-year-olds and younger who were surveyed in Belize, said they’d used marijuana within the past year. Guest Speaker at today’s event, Mayor Khalid Belisle spoke about personal responsibility when it comes to drug use – and how youth can be engaged in different ways outside of school.

 

Khalid Belisle

Khalid Belisle, Mayor of Belmopan

“Just looking at it from an adult perspective, understanding the challenges these young people face already, without then introducing the complications the drug use brings on top of that, I really want to hope that they manage to remain focus on the task at hand of nation building. We are counting on them to be that next generation of leaders. We are trying to get people to understand that it comes down to an individual choice and decision. Yes, peer pressure will be there and you might back slide into bad habits and those sort of things, but at the end of day, it is incumbent on each of us to make that decision that I am out to leave these negative things behind and push forward in a positive direction.”

 

The drug awareness week will culminate with a parade in the city on Friday. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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