14 years ago, former commissioner of police, Gerald Westby attended a police meeting in Miami, Florida in the United States. At that meeting, a man who previously handed a gun over the police department received a certificate. That experience was the seed that transformed into the “Do Di Rait Ting” program. Since the launch in 2005, many of the youths have transformed into productive members of society. Today Love News attended the ceremony for the youths who were awarded by the police department for doing the right thing.
Jose Sanchez: “At today’s ceremony at old Belize the Police Department and sponsors congratulated the youths for the perseverance to become better individuals in the community. National Program Coordinator for the program Corporal Jason Jones says scores for a few from across the country were nominated but ten were recognized today for overcoming adversity and doing the right thing.”
Corporal Jason Joes – National Program Coordinator, Do Di Rait Ting: “For this year we had a total of fifty five nominees and on the 13th of June we have a selection committee that comprises of stakeholder, officers from the Police Department and myself we sat down and we hashed out the top ten winners. When ever we do a nomination they have eight criterias that that person can be submitted so for instance behavioral success, academics, heroism, volunteerism, all of those things are taken into consideration. Now if you have one student that has all eight categories and then one that has four, then you know that the one that has eight has more points as it relates to the nomination so that is how we hashed it out and came up with the top ten.”
Edward Broaster – Deputy ComPol, Ops & Crime: “The Do Di Rait Ting is significant in the fact that we want to ensure that we develop young people in the society that will appreciate the love for God, for themselves and for the community. By encouraging young people to Do Di Rait Ting it will enable us to have a better society and communities across the country.”
Jose Sanchez: “ 22 year old Gessica Pop from Bullet Tree Village in Cayo started High school from eighteen. Now the High School graduate and second place winner receives a six form scholarship through the Do Di Rait Ting Program.”
Gessica Pop – Second Place Winner Do Di Rait Ting: “At first I could not go to high school after graduating from primary school because of a financial situation in my family and because I didn’t have the help from my dad because my mom passed away when I was six years old so I had to struggle a lot in life. My brother was the only one that took care of me with my sister in law so I never lost hope that one day I was going to have an education. I went through with it, they offered me the help, I got a working scholarship at Eden SDA High school. It was very tough at first but being an honor roll student at first form I was able to get a scholarship to go to second all the way to fourth so I am very thankful to those people who helped me to go through that. I am very thankful to my counselor Ms. Flowers for always motivating me that I could go and that it is never too late to have an education. I graduated this year from Eden High school and my plans are to pursue a Bachelors degree in primary education and I am looking forward to those dreams. I am sure that with the help of God I will accomplish.”
Jose Sanchez: “Nineteen year old Cindy Zelaya from Trio Village in the Toledo District overcame adversity and won the top prize.”
Cindy Zelaya – First Place Winner, Do Di Rait Ting: “ I think I was selected because I have a long history and it is really… I always wanted to share my life, the things that I have been through with anybody that wants to know, then they can try to follow and learn something about my past.”
Jose Sanchez: “So you had a lot of struggles?”
Cindy Zelaya – First Place Winner, Do Di Rait Ting: “Yes I had a lot of struggles but with all of those struggles I made up my mind that I will continue to work hard. “
Corporal Jason Jones – National Program Coordinator, Do Di Rait Ting: “The second place they received a full two year scholarship from Sacred Heart Junior College with a laptop from DFC. The first place winner got a full two year scholarship from the Ministry of Education, a laptop from BNE and also a year data from Digi.”
Cindy Zelaya – First Place Winner, Do Di Rait Ting: “The man said that nothing is impossible and that it is possible to do anything in life. Even with all the struggles you have been through you have to keep your head high and continue on to what you want to be in the future.”
Jose Sanchez: “The pressure of living in an age of poverty, violence and corruption is unlike any in Belize’s history and the stakeholders hope that youths will stay strong like these ten individuals and continue to Do Di Rait Ting. Jose Sanchez for Love News.”
If you would like to know more about the program, contact Corporal Bart Jones, the National Program Coordinator for Do Di Rait Ting.