We all know that the future is for our children, and in order to prepare them to venture forth, we need to nurture them from a young age. That’s the thought between the GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Program which aims to improve the lives of our children by guiding them along the right path. The GREAT Program targets children in the upper primary and high school levels and has 13 sessions delivered in the classroom once per week by a trained police officer.great-drum-making-course-2
To create an even bigger impact, the GREAT program partnered with the Youth and Community Transformation (YCT) Project and the Yabra Community Resource Center (Community Policing Unit) to implement the drum making classes for Belizean youth.great-drum-making-course-4
The classes were facilitated by Larubeya Drum School and saw youth from the Port Loyola and Lake Independence areas learning the skills to make their own drums. Now that the children can make their own drums, the program will move to its second phase; learning to play the drum.great-drum-making-course-5
The Youth and Community Transformation Project’s objective is to reduce vulnerability of children and youth to crime and gang membership in Belize. This is being achieved by providing services to enhance literacy, adaptive life skills and expressive arts and sports skills, support conflict mediation and improve inter-linkages and the sharing of best practices among participating agencies working within these communities. The project is being financed by the Government of Belize through a loan facility from the Caribbean Development Bank.great-drum-making-course-6
Isn’t this just a ‘GREAT’ initiative? The program is always looking for partners to assist in youth transformation, so if you would like to learn how to get involved, visit www.humandev.gov.bz/index.php/yct/, or call 227-0840.

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About the Author: Janelle Cowo

The youngest member of the My Beautiful Belize family, Janelle loves traveling and experiencing new cultures both within and across the border of Belize. She particularly enjoys history and is an avid Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance reader. What she lacks in stature, Janelle has (and even surpasses) in spirit for adventure. She is willing to try pretty much anything, from daring jumps to new eats. Janelle lives her life according to Mae West quote “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

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