no-photoThe National Youth Police was launched last year but that was only the pivoting point of the work for youth in Belize. What lies ahead is the full implementation of that policy and ensuring full youth participation across the country. Even after the launch of the policy, consultations across the country continue to get youth involved in structuring a district level youth council that will eventually lead up to the development of a National Council. Today, that consultation was held in the Orange Walk District where one hundred young people from rural and urban Orange Walk took part in. Dalila Ical has more on that story.


Dalila Ical – Reporting


Eldred Neal – District Coordinator, NDACC OW


“I must Say and I want to say kudos to the representation and I have Trinidad, San Lazaro, San Roman, San Pablo, I have a large rural community and of course I have representation from all secondary schools here that reflects the audience for young people and it is pretty positive but today particularly was to give them the policy and have them look at the policy and having them come up with their interpretation in terms of getting a vision for themselves particularly in the Orange Walk District.”


And these youth also have an opportunity at becoming the members of the district youth council and even the National Youth President for which elections will be held in the near future. Eldred Neal, District Coordinator for the National Drug Abuse Control Council is among the many stakeholder agencies that form part of the steering committee in the implementation of the National Youth Policy.


The process is being led by young people as the focus of the policy is to in fact give youth a voice and steer them towards taking leadership roles in their communities. Youth Officer at the Belize Department of Youth Services, Kyle Miller says they have seen great representation from each district.


Kyle Miller – Youth Officer


“In order for us to have a National council and for young people to hear our voices we need to talk so these are some of the examples that are coming out of the group that young people need to talk.”


And these youth are talking. They believe the time to lead starts now…


Iriana Leiva – Participant


“We are now and we should work from today in order to better our country later.”


Dalila ical – Reporter


“So you would encourage other youths to support this movement to get involve and to really push forward to it?”


Iriana Leiva – Participant


“I strongly encourage our youths because we are the ones that can control and make a big change here for ourselves.”


Alvaro Davila – Participant


“This is a great opportunity to show our leadership and in other words I am honoured to be here. I strongly believe that this is a great idea because let you remember that two heads work better than one and so if we change all the leader from the different schools definitely this is like a great chance for Belize to develop.”


It is important to note that seventy-five percent of Belize’s population are youth, many of which have made these goals theirs.


Zelda Brown – Participant


“I really important to me because I really want to be a leader in that I want to help anybody especially the youths and all like me as a mother I have two young children and I really want to be a leader to help them out and other youths as well.”


And those assisting in making these objectives achievable believe in the youth they currently lead.


Eldred Neal – District Coordinator, NDACC OW


“We believe we have dynamic young people in Orange Walk and we are giving them the kind of training and opening their eyes to the policy so that they want to become the President of the youth or whatever maybe called when that time comes.  We have a good voice and a good happening out here so our youths can directly impact the remainder of this country.”

The next step is for each district planning committee to work with youth and stakeholders in collecting data on how to properly structure the district councils and it’s relation to the national youth council.

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