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88 youths complete BPD’s Youth Mentorship Program Print E-mail
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Friday, 09 November 2018 00:00

A total of 88 youths were recognized at a ceremony at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on Monday, November 5, 2018 for their successful completion in the Belize Police Department’s Youth Mentorship Program. The program, which was launched as the 2nd version of its kind in May of this year, ended with the certification ceremony. The objective of the program is to steer at-risk youth from the very real gang problem which exists in Belize and over the course of the 6-months in mentorship, that’s exactly what the 88 of an initial 110 learnt.

At the certification ceremony, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, shared a very harsh truth. “We have a gang problem in our country and the only way we can break that gang cycle is to ensure that we reach out to the younger generations today. If we turn a blind eye to these young people that we are dealing with today they will be the next generation of gangs that we will have to deal with.” He continued to say that as mentors, the officers learnt from the children just as much as the children learnt from them. “We all learned a lot from these children, in some cases more than they learn from us because these kids are very creative, innovative and intelligent. Sometimes all these young people need is a bit of guidance in order for them to be able to show their full potential. I can see where you all have done your best to bring that out in them. I want us to continue to see how we can reach out to these young people. Let not today be the end of your contact with them than you will be able to touch base with them on a weekly basis or two weeks or a monthly basis just to check up with them to see how they are doing. I am sure that will go a very long way with them to know that even after today you will continue to care about them.”

Inspector Elroy Carcamo, O.C., Community Policing, Eastern Division, was also at the ceremony. “For the first three months, the youths were introduced to life skills through the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program along with motivation thoughts, law enforcement as a career, spirituality and educational tour. While for the final three months, it was more a mentor bonding time, educational tour with some presentations in partnership with YWCA, NDACC just to name a few. Some of the topics covered in life skills were goal setting, decision making, conflict resolution, anger management, effective communication and bullying.”

 


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