Posted: Monday, February 13, 2023. 9:09 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: A mix of Government leaders, senior Police Command, community leaders and others met at Queen Street Police Station this afternoon for a review and planning session for the Leadership Intervention Unit (LIU) and the Multisectoral Approach to Crime being piloted by the Government of Belize.
The Ministries of Home Affairs, Youth and Sports and Human Development were present and the Ministry of Education is also represented, while Commissioner of Police Chester Williams and deputy Dr Richard Rosado represented the Department. Community leaders present included mediator and youth outreach expert Nuri Muhammad; educator Dr Lorna McKay; Sharole Saldivar; Erwin X Muhammad; Timmy Stamp; Perry “Sticks” Smith; Department community liaison Douglas Hyde and many others.
According to the Commissioner, the at-risk men who attended want to see the programs continue, but this is no hand-out: “It’s a program where we engage these young people in their respective communities to work in some capacity, and then they are compensated for the work that they do. So they want the commitment to ensure that the work that we started will continue, and we will continue to see how we make that stipend [available] to help them maintain [their] families as we go along.”
Minister Musa said he was particularly inspired by the “powerful testimonials” of three mothers who lost their family members to gun violence and those of the young men at the center of the storm and their commitment to keep the program going and to have “all hands on deck” to keep the peace in the Old Capital.
Forthcoming initiatives include a farming program in Rural Belize, starting with training for a month from the Ministry of Agriculture, while the Ministry of Economic Development has undertaken to provide three greenhouses for the property in which the young men will work.
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