YATA and RESTORE Belize Holds Walls Down event in Port Loyola Print E-mail
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Thursday, 31 May 2018 00:00

A Walls Down event was held on Saturday, May 19, 2018 through the collaborative efforts of Youth Advocacy through Arts (YATA) and RESTORE Belize. The Department of Youth Services (DYS) and Saint John’s College Junior College (SJCJC) were also a part of the initiative. According to RESTORE Belize, “It was the first in a series of planned community building events with safe spaces for children as the focus.”

Residents from different areas on south side Belize were invited to a community event which featured bouncy houses, trampolines, music, snacks, and a basketball competition in “the community space made safe”. Belizean artists as well as children in the community utilized the day to paint a mural for peace.

Walls Down, founded by Joseph “Stamp” Romero, is an initiative which collaborates with community members to address the issues of gang violence, the murder of children, and sexual violence committed against children through peaceful social inclusion. Romero says that the idea for Walls Down came from wanting to plant the seed early in children and as a concept, it has the goal of removing the barriers within communities. The project utilizes art and media to spread “a message of hope among disenfranchised communities.”