The Getaway Youth Center was officially opened today at the Gwen Lizarraga Compound. The facility is intended for use by youths between thirteen to nineteen years to channel positive behavioral change. The center will offer support services in literacy and math as well as after school programs and outside referral services. This afternoon, when the center opened, various ministers were on hand. Duane Moody was also there and has this report.
Duane Moody, Reporting
Back in October of 2013, the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation signed a contract with B.A.E. Constructions and Usher Constructions for the building of a Youth Center at the Gwen Lizarraga High School Compound and a Dormitory Facility, Resource/Visitor’s Center and the Rehabilitation of the Carpentry Building and Sporting Grounds at the Youth Hostel at mile twenty-one on the George Price Highway. Fast track, one year later, today the Gateway Youth Center in the Collet constituency was officially opened.
Mark King, Minister of State, Ministry of Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation & Poverty Alleviation
“The completion of this center is indeed a great achievement for some many in so many ways. As the name itself suggests, the Gateway Youth Center is intended to open up opportunities for young people of this city; especially those living on the south side and those who are out of school and unattached. The activities of the center will focus on keep young people connected or reconnecting themselves to their communities. The main thrust in social inclusion and ultimately the creation of greater social capita. It is indeed a truism that our youths are the future. They are one of our greatest resources, so we must invest to realize the full benefit of this resource. That is precisely what the government of Belize is doing here today.”
As the slogan says “A Bright Future Awaits,” the youth center is part of an initiative of the Community Action for Public Safety (CAPS) Project and seeks to contribute to the reduction of youth involvement in major violent crime in Belize City.
Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
“Children can’t run away from their environment and so it is up to us, as a society—when I say that I mean everybody—to provide the kind of environment for our children to learning that will be conducive to good quality learning. Are you with me with that? This building today is being opened, the Gateway Youth Center, it is a beautiful structure and this is the kind of environment that our children deserve to be in. Don’t you agree with me? It aims to provide a quality environment and a quality learning space for our children. But it is not only the physical environment; it is also the other elements, the support that is important for our children to learn. And so those of us who are parents and who are satisfied with just sending our children to schools on a daily basic…just packing their bags and send them to school and no matter what kind of environment they go to at school—you don’t think you need to go there to check and to fight and to make sure that the environment in which your children are placed in that school is conducive to their learning—you are not doing your job. And those of the society who are not participating to make sure that the environment is free from all of this that can make a child go so wrong…that is put on the education system and we take that responsibility seriously.”
Both projects will cost approximately three point three million dollars. Duane Moody for News Five.
The center was funded through a loan facility between the Inter-American Development Bank and G.O.B.
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The Gateway Youth Center officially opened today in Belize City
The Center is an intiative of the Community Action for Public Safety (CAPS) Project, which is funded through a loan facility between the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Belize. The project is being executed by the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, and is a part of the Education Support Services of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
The Gateway Youth Center offers organized instructional programs and support services under the following categories: Literacy and Math program, Afterschool Programs, Re-entry and outside referral services and family support services. Equipped with classrooms, offices, auditorium, security and recreational facilities, the Center provides a safe environment and is the ideal location for creating opportunities for youth.
Youth must register in order to participate in the programs being offered by the Center. To find out more or register, contact a Youth Officer at 227-0840 or visit the Center at Dakers Street.