As part of today’s press conference, the Belize City council updated the media with regards to its manifesto promises. Deputy Mayor Oscar Arnold focused the first half of his presentation on crime and what the council plans to do to help residents who are dealing with the loss of a loved one to gun violence.
Oscar Arnold, Deputy Mayor of Belize City: “One of our campaign pledges was to establish family grief therapy sessions and this would target and it would help individuals who have lost family members to violence. We’ve ensured that we’ve contacted trained counselors and therapists to carry this work out. With the help and support of Mayor Wagner we’ve allocated and we’ve secured private and confidential space to foster this discussion and to foster the emotional healing that is necessary among many of our residents. We’ve also made sure that if there is weekly sessions that are needed that this is afforded to our city residents. Individual who are left to cope with open wounds and scars will never allow the healing to take place thus impact the cycle of violence that keeps repeating. So Mayor Wagner earlier noted that we are ready and willing to meet with the relevant authorities to try to curb and arrest the violence problem that we have in our city and this family grief therapy session is one such initiative that we hope can start to address the healing process and break the cycle of violence that we see taking place in our city. We want to provide the cultural identity that is being lost within our inner city and in some respects we want to return to the basic teachings that our elders had. We want to instill this and impart this on our youth because we have many instances where people grow up on the same street and end up having beef and we know what the outcome of that can be. So with having this event we are hoping that we can bring back some of the important teachings that our elders have to offer.”
Forming part of the council’s staff is Hubert Pipersburgh. He is the council’s Economic Development and Communications Manager.