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For the last two weeks, thirty one children who have been affected by crime and violence were engaged in an initiative spearheaded by the Eyes of the Jaguar Neighbourhood Watch Group and the Belize Police Department.  These youngsters who are students of St Martin de Porres Primary School found themselves engaged in activities to not only enhance their concentration skills and positive thinking but also counselling sessions.  Reporter, Naim Borges, personally met the participants at the closing of the event held earlier today.

Reporter: “School is out and the kids are at break, to keep them occupied and engaged the Eyes of the Jaguar Neighborhood Watch group held a summer camp where they enlisted children primarily from the southside areas of Belize City. The program saw the participation of both law enforcement officers and other mentors and sadly as they saw all good things must come to an end so we joined them at the closing and spoke to the President of the Watch group Olga Gordon who has had years in community work.”

Olga Gordon – President, Eyes of the Jaguar Neighborhood Group: “Okay the Eyes of the Jaguar Neighborhood Watch group was formed in St. Martins and the then Mr. Brent Hamilton he is now the Assistant Super Independent, they formed like six groups here in St. Martins and I took up the call. I decided that we wanted to do something for St. Martins, to help with the area as I live behind here. We keep working with the kids and we will continue to work with them.”

Reporter: “Front and center at the event was recently promoted Assistant Superintendent of Police Brent Hamilton. Hamilton has been known for his Police Cadet Program and other community initiatives, particularly in the Lake Independence area. Today he enlightened us on why it was important to target these children.”

Assistant Superintendent – Brent Hamilton: “The objective of the camp is to engage with youths in the community where they do their stuff. The camp runs in the afternoon for two hours and we engage them in life skills, attitude, behavior, peer pressure, we teach them about themselves, we had arts and crafts and many more. One of the main objectives that we also impart with them was to try to engage them in other alternatives from crime, gang, and violence and to try to empower them in anything that they see that they can do. It was basically to help our younger youths to see other alternatives and to try to identify the skills inside of themselves so that was the passion of the idea of the entire camp. What we did we brought in a counselor, we sat down, we had forum with them, we asked them to express themselves and based on where they needed the help that is where we have done the referrals so the camp was to motivate them and to let them know that it is apart of life and how to cope with the stress that they are in already by losing someone or having a family member in prison.”

Reporter: “A.S.P. Hamilton committed his efforts in supporting the Neighborhood Watch Group in all their events aimed at helping children. As for the group, they indicated that while this is the closing of the summer camp they have rescheduled by monthly meetings with the children in order to maintain contact and render support where needed. Reporting for Love News I am Naim Borges.”