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Oct 25, 2019

Mentoring the Belize City Youth

It was a proud occasion for a group of just under a hundred young persons. For six months, they had been learning life skills in the Youth Mentorship Programme of the Belize Police Department. In addition to building relations, the programme is a way to engage the youths in productive activity and distance them from crime and street life. After successfully completing the programme, they were beaming with pride today at a graduation ceremony at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Youth Mentorship Programme of the Belize Police Department was established back in 2017 and focused on at risk youths across south side Belize City. It quickly spread to incorporate children from the north side as well. Three years later, the programme has grown to incorporate one hundred and fifty youngsters from both primary and secondary institutions as well as those becoming a part of the workforce. With assistance from the private sector and a number of mentors, eight of the one hundred and fifty mentees graduated today.

 

Douglas Hyde

Douglas Hyde, PR & Media Director, Office of the Commissioner of Police

“There is four specific things. One is definitely building the relationship between the police and the young persons. Two, we wanted to look at the area of reduction of crime and violence. The third is looking at building skills within these young persons and of course looking at leadership where we want to work with them from a young stage. We’ve met all four of these areas and we are looking at achieving more because we have seen the behaviour of these kids, who are high risk kids, we see some of them changing.”

 

For the past six months, the young boys and girls have been participating in five-hour sessions on Saturdays. They are being taught life skills and how to not become a victim of circumstance. Anastasia Ferguson is a second form student at Maud Williams High School; she’s been with the programme for three years.

 

Anastasia Ferguson

Anastasia Ferguson, Mentee

“My experience was great. I learned self-esteem, life skills and from the different trips that they take us on, I learn how to bond with other persons. I wasn’t at risk or in trouble or anything, but the programme has helped me a lot because at first I was a really shy person. But every since I start the programme, the shyness just fades away.”

 

While Anastasia has developed her self-esteem, seventeen-year-old Tyler McKoy says that the department is assisting him with getting a job.

 

Tyler McKoy

Tyler McKoy, Mentee

“The programme keeps you off the streets; keeps yo wah good lead fi like maybe keep away from the gangs and get a good life and get a head way. For me, it gives me a heads up to keep off the streets.”

 

Reporter

“You are seventeen years old; you’re out of school; are we looking for job placement for you and how is that going with the department?”

 

Tyler McKoy

“The department find wah job for me.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


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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