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Screen_Shot_2016-02-29_at_8.08.31_PMThe Department of Youth Services here in Orange Walk hosted the District Youth Council elections earlier today. The voting commenced at 9:00 in the morning and while the delegates prepared to cast their vote, we were able to speak to Youth Development Officer, Glenda Diaz Gordon, who told us about the importance of hosting the elections.


Glenda Diaz Gordon - Youth Development Officer


“It’s important to us because young people represent the majority of Belize’s population, it is important for young people to be partners in their own development; people complain every day that young people are not involved in the process, this department is providing a platform for them to do just that, we have every commitment to work with the young people, district councils are youth led, the role of this department is to provide technical support as well as financial support but the council will function independent of the department that will enable them to speak out and function independently from what we do at the department. The district councils will ensure that the views and the concerns for young people in this case Orange Walk District are heard and they are responsible to advocate for programs and we want young people themselves to act as  leaders and to carry out these functions as well.”


And while there were many concerns that the Youth Council elections were somewhat biased and political, Gordon assured us that the rumors were untrue.


Glenda Diaz Gordon - Youth Development Officer


“The process is not political any at all and to respond to because we received a lot of concerns complaint and to ensure that the process is nonpolitical the department has developed an oversight committee consisting from persons from all political parties from Belize and persons from the youth sector how are independent thinkers and who are able to support this process, today we are happy to have Mrs. An Palacio who is a part of the oversight committee who is here to ensure that everything is running well and that the process is fair.”


As the voting progressed we spoke to some of the candidates vying for the different posts in the election and they told us the reason behind their decision to become a part of the Youth Council.


candidates


“Am running for the Youth Council as President because I know that I have the qualities as a leader to lead the youths of Orange Walk, we consist of six youth groups around the district and I took this challenge to work with these youths we want to bring something big across this district, we want those youths voices to be heard, many of them have talent and skills and we want them to expose their talent and not just be lacked in there.”


The candidates also shared their vision as well as their primary goal that they would like to achieve if they become successful when the results were in.


candidates


“I decided to run for this election because as a young person want to make a difference in Orange Walk and I want to have the young people to come as a community basically this is what I am trying to do to bring them together and have them doing positive things.”


The delegates that were eligible to vote for the elections were chosen from each registered youth group in the Orange Walk District. For them, being able to participate in the election meant their voice is being heard.


Delegates


“I decided to run for president for this NYC because I have many visions and I am an active young lady in my village but I don’t want to share my positive and my energy only to my village rather than to share it with the district.”


Voting closed at 6:00pm and up to news time counting is still taking place.

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