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CITCO Youth Innovation summer camp ends

HighlightsCITCO Youth Innovation summer camp ends

150 kids from various parts of the city were given certificates for completing CITCO’s Youth Innovation Incubator Summer Camp.

by Charles Gladden

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 11, 2022 To conclude the Belize City Council’s Youth Innovation Incubator Summer Program, which was organized by the Belize CITCO, along with its partners from the central government and the private sector, 150 kids from all parts of the city were awarded certificates for completing the month-long activities.

The summer program was aimed at providing participants with an opportunity to educate themselves on subjects such as financial literacy, leadership skills and music, free of cost.

On Wednesday, August 11, members of the local media were present at the House of Culture when the camp’s closing ceremonies took place, during which camp participants were recognized for their involvement.

“Normally, summer programs would just have that sporting component, but we wanted to be a broad-based type of summer, where you not only have the sporting component, but you have the self-development process as well. You have music, [and] swimming, and you have been able to self-development—all of that types of areas we were looking at. And so, when we did this program here, it was to engage over 150 kids in our community throughout those four weeks. But clearly, from the outcome today, we can see we made an impact with our youths,” said Mayor of Belize City, Bernard Wagner.

Mayor Wagner highlighted the escalating crime in the city—much of which is being carried out by gang members, and he noted that initiatives such as the Youth Innovation Incubator Summer Camp is a way of preventing young ones from possibly embarking on

such a path.
“We recognized there is this issue with gangs in our communities … [a] huge amount of gangs. We want to be able to assist in this area by attacking it from the early stage. You have to be able to change the mindset of our kids, of our youths, providing avenues, [and] providing social programs. This gang warfare is not good for the city; it is not good for the country.

It is a process where it can only get worse, and so we as leaders in our community have to be able to stop it at the point, engage our kids, engage the kids from the different neighborhoods [and] have them understand that, listen, all of us feel the same pain. All of us feel the same challenges. Why would you growing up, as you turn from a child to a youth, begin to harbor this hate?

That is what is happening in our community. There is this strong hatred in our community, and it [crosses] political lines, it crosses communities; it is rampant in the urban areas. And so we at the municipal level, want to be certain in changing that mindset,” said Mayor Wagner.

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