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GREAT Graduation

This morning students from three primary schools: Our Lady of the Way Primary School, Ladyville Seventh Day Adventist Primary School, and Ladyville Evangelical Primary School assembled at the Ladyville Community Centre for the graduation exercise of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program. The program is geared toward steering children away from gangs, and to teach them good ethics to live by. As a result, they will turn out to be upstanding citizens and make a positive impact in the community. Inspector Elroy Carcamo addressed the students and teachers gathered at the Ladyville Community Center.

Elroy Carcamo – Inspector of Police

“Preventing Youth Crime Violence and gang involvement is just what the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program does, and it is conducted by law enforcement officers who facilitate message throughout the country. The Belize Police Department along with the Ministry of Education through US Embassy Belize is doing their utmost best through the great program to ensure that our youths are able to make meaningful decisions that will affect them and their community positively. Since the commencement of the GREAT program in 2011 we have over thirteen thousand five hundred youths that have participated in the GREAT program. Prevention is better than cure. A great attitude becomes a great day, a great day becomes a great month, and a great month becomes a great year which becomes a great life. Remember that every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you, the strength, the patience, the passion and the great skills which you learn during our great classes to reach for the stars and make changes in the world.”

The Principal of Our Lady of the Way R.C. School, Denise Neal, in her speech remarked on the effectiveness of the program.

Denise Neal – Principal of Our Lady of the Way R.C. School

“Students had the opportunity to communicate effectively. They learned how to control their anger and they also learn how to make good choices and that drastically reduces the level of bullying that occurred at our school on and off the compound. The students also developed a close relationship with the community police and they learned the necessary skills needed in order to be a great citizen of our nation. The program should not be taken lightly especially since it helps to decrease the crime among our young people that is so prevalent in our country. So I commend the police department once again Corporal Lions and Corporal Smith for taking time out to do something positive for our future great leaders.”

Love News spoke with Parish Parks of Our Lady of the Way Primary School and Nayela Smith of Ladyville Seventh Day Adventist Primary School to find out how they benefited from the GREAT programme.