So far this year, violence has been on a major downswing in Belize City - and while we are all grateful for it, truth is, it's been trending up for 12 years, with the murder rate climbing almost every year since two thousand. An entire generation was raised in such times, and every day, they carry the scars of community violence. That's why for the students of Canaan High - it meant something today to march against violence. Monica Bodden reports:...

Monica Bodden reporting
This morning the Students of Canaan Seventh Day Adventist College gathered to share one message...which was, Stop The Violence!

Garfield McCulloch- Principal
"We decide to celebrate it so that the children themselves can become aware of what violence is about; how it is affecting the society, the school and the relationship with each other."

"Seeing that we are concern about the increase of violence in the City especially and that we can start with them here that they would understand what we can do to decrease, to stop the violence among them here."

"Yes the children here they do get into fighting and quarrelling especially and are telling them that violence is not just physical but it's also verbal. It starts with the verbal then it ends off with the end product of hurting each other."

It was the school's first Violence Awareness Week - but they plan on making it an annual event.

Karen Bodden - School Counsellor
"Our students like many other young people in Belize are influence by many social factors, one of which is unfortunately is violence and so it's a constant challenge. On a daily basis we are being challenge to help them to re-socialized the way they think and respond to challenges."

"Many of our students comes from South side Belize City and many of them also suffer from the deteriorating family structure as students in every other high school. We find that as a result of that we at school we must then make more effort to address their social issues, but more importantly their wellness issue and so you find that we are kept busy on a daily basis."

"One of the things that help is what I do is the excellent staff support and the support of the administration because we work as a team and that makes it a whole lot easier."

Reporter
"You won first in the poetry competition. Do you use word a lot to spread positivity?"

Jenny Ortega - 3rd Form Student
"Yes, it's mostly about what is happening in the society of Belize. Many things are happening, so I just came up with it and the poem."

Monica Bodden
"What was the poem about?"

Jenny Ortega - 3rd Form Student
"My poems was about the crimes that is happening in Belize City and that how people are dying day by day and mothers are struggling and then we have a piece that says that the babies are dying by our own doctors' hands and it includes many. It was a nice poem and I know everyone enjoyed that."

And when the closing ceremony was over, these students took to the streets with colourful banners and posters that had bold messages on them.

Karen Bodden - School Counsellor
"Violence awareness is extremely important because it helps when they start thinking about violence as serious issue and I am seeing signs of that happening this week. I've heard our students discussing violence, so I know it's something that have not been talked about on an individual basis, but now because of the activities in which they found themselves engaged in this week they had to be writing, they had to be thinking and they had to be in groups and combining all that together has definitely raised the level of awareness among our student population."

Channel 7