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Jun 9, 2006

Y-FOCUS organises walk against crime in Belize City

Story PictureEvery night this newscast is filled with accounts of criminal atrocities affecting our society. But while most of us feel sorry for the victims and pray for an end to the violence, one group of young people have combined their efforts to be a part of the solution. They call themselves Y-FOCUS, Youths Freeing Our Community Using Skills. News Five’s Kendra Griffith reports on the group’s message to all Belizeans.

Dylan Williams, Walk Against Crime Organizer
?We basically wanted everybody to stand with one voice against this whole issue of crime in Belize and the hope is as our theme said, walking against crime today to prevent one from happening tomorrow.?

Today?s ?Walk Against Crime? ended with a rally at the Memorial Park where victims of crime, community leaders, and youths shared their stories and suggestions for an end to violence.

This morning?s supporters included Julia Yardwood; her son Sherwin was just one of the seventy-eight people murdered in 2005.

Julia Yarwood, Mother of Murder Victim
?I am marching because I am a victim. My son was killed on the twenty-ninth of November 2005. I think they need to punish the ones who are guilty, the ones who are doing these senseless murders and the ones who are doing these killings for silly things. I think they need to be punished.?

Rev. David Goff, Pres., Belize-Honduras Methodist District
?I feel very heartened and encouraged that this whole initiative has come from a youth organisation. For young people to take that initiative and say we are concerned and we want to see the crime and violence in our nation stop in terms of the many lives that have been lost senselessly. I think such an effort merits our full support.?

Reverend David Goff believes that too many broken homes are a major factor in rising crime rates in Belize.

Rev. David Goff
?Absentee parents are a part of the problem, as well as parents who are not fully taking up their responsibilities in the home as they should. We also, I feel we have become a very materialistic society and we tend be trying to live our lives patterned off north America and I think that is giving a lot of children a false sense of reality. If we can emphasise and improve the way we help children and young people to learn to treat each other with respect and with dignity, I think that is where it starts. Basically it starts in the home too, but in the church and in our church-schools we can reinforce that and help our children to learn how to deal with each other.?

The event was organised by the Y-FOCUS youth group and concerned members of the public. Dylan Williams says Y-FOCUS will continue to do its part to uplift youths and reduce crime.

Dylan Williams
?We going to be very active after this. This is just our coming out and we just want everybody to start to support our group and support other different youths groups that we are trying to do the same initiative. We are giving a call for members to come in because if you stay home and just?as a young person is you stay home and just don?t participate, you won?t be making a change, so we are calling you to come out with the Y-FOCUS and be a positive part of the community.?

The group?s next event is a sports and information fair scheduled for August.

Kendra Griffith reporting for News Five.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the youth group, contact Dylan Williams at 663-3353 or visit the Y-FOCUS office behind the District Education Building on Mahogany Street Extension on Friday nights. You must be between fourteen and twenty-nine years old to join.

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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