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Nov 21, 2000

Wesley opens “Red Ribbon” Week

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A week of activities focusing on drug prevention and celebrating a drug-free lifestyle for youths officially opened this morning at Wesley College. It’s called Red Ribbon Week. School principal Brenda Armstrong and counsellor Elizabeth Goff told News Five that while the “Red Ribbon” idea started elsewhere, it still resonates in Belize.

Elizabeth Goff, Counsellor

“Red ribbon week started in 1986 in the USA after a drug enforcement officer was slain by drug dealers. And in the town of California, the idea developed by friends of this person. We thought that even though the idea didn’t originate in Belize we could use it because we also have big problems in the areas of drugs. We though we could use it and tailor it to the needs of our students and community here in Belize. This year our theme is “We are the future, let’s make it drug free.”

“We are hoping to communicate to the community that Wesley College is united in helping to fight against drugs, helping our students to make those choices.”

Brenda Armstrong, Principal, Wesley College

“Last year student had a chance to make personal commitments. Each student had a card, wrote on it what they were committing themselves to. Some say they would stay away from places where drugs were sold or used. Some said they would try and avoid friends they know used or at least be strong in the presence. Others made a commitment to stay drug free themselves.”

“I was really amazed last year how much enthusiasm was put into the parade and the statement that was being made.”

Wednesday is Red Ribbon Day, when students will be wearing a red ribbon at their morning church service. That will be followed by a short parade through the streets of Belize City. On Thursday evening at six-thirty the parents role in drug prevention will be discussed at a public parents meeting at Wesley College. Red Ribbon Week ends on Friday with class presentations on ways to combat drug abuse.

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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