The Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program has yielded positive results across the country. The GREAT Program is a joint partnership between the Belize Police Department and the US Embassy in Belize which has greatly benefitted children from a wide cross-section in the country. Since the amalgamation of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defence into the Ministry of National Security, such positive results are being amplified. This morning the Ministry of National Security brought representatives from Belize’s security forces to exchange best practices in an effort to better serve the cadets. Coordinator of the Belize Coast Guard Cadet Program, Gilroy Lewis spoke to the media.
Lt.Gilroy Lewis, Coordinator, BCG Cadet: “The cadet’s country wide throughout Belize are represented here today. In Belize alone between the Police Department and the Belize Coast Guard we are responsible for about 500 cadets enroll. That is separate and apart from those that the Belize Defense Force are working with. For unforeseen circumstances the representative from the Belize Defense Force was unable to make it however we are still partner and they will be recipient of that; again it is clear that the great program has been a success and as a result we must be able to build upon success so that our cadets may be beneficiaries and not only them but by extension the country of Belize which we want to be a safe haven of democracy as it has always been.”
Hipolito Novelo: How is it that what is being discussed here will trickle down to the cadets themselves and is there a timeline in terms of when these cadets will fully see the benefits of this course?
Lt.Gilroy Lewis, Coordinator, BCG Cadet: “Presently the cadets pretty much would be immediate benefactors of what we are discussing today; we meet Tuesdays and Thursdays every week and as such we have presently life skills training going on. In the summer we will have a summer camp which will be sponsored by the Belize Coast Guard and the Ministry of National Security so we are inviting the Police during that time to share with us the great program and the kids would then transcend that training within their schools, within their neighborhood and within their homes which I believe is very very important so that we can be able to see the results as you mention. “
The session was held at the Coast Guard’s Headquarters