A Belize military delegation was recently in Louisiana, USA where they were hosted by the Louisiana National Guard. The purpose of the visit was to tour the Youth Challenge Programs in that state with an aim at establishing a similar plan for at-risk youth in Belize. Last November, Brigadier General had spoken to Love News on the purpose of adapting the program.
“That program is to have the use here in Belize for us to get into the program for a year or two to get reform from the ways they have and to have that interception and interdiction for them into the gang warfare that is now plaguing our life here in Belize and in particularly Belize City. If we can get them isolated in an area where there will be a bit of discipline infringed on them, a different way of life and a different outlook on what life should be instead of turning to a life of crime and get them reformed after the program we are expecting them to do something more productive with their life and to be better model citizens to stop that cycle of violence that seems to be perpetual in our society.”
The delegation included BDF’s Commander, Brigadier General David Jones, CEO in the Ministry of Defence, Felix Enriquez, CEO in the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche and the Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington. For more than twenty years now the Louisiana National Guard and the Belize Defence Force have had a partnership exchange on leadership training opportunities and academic professional development with over two hundred and fifty events already conducted through their collaboration.According to CEO Enriquez, it is the hope of the government that once the program is initiated, it will aid in building the confidence and patriotism of the young population. The Louisiana National Guard and the Belize Defence Force are planning a joint infantry training exercise for next year coupled with a pledge to support the youth development programs in Belize.