20th November 2019
Last week, the world celebrated International Children’s Week. Last Wednesday, 20th November was International Children’s Day.
Most people would not have known about this had it not been for the Special Sitting of Children’s Parliament, which received quite a bit of coverage.
During this special sitting, our young people from across the country sat in the National Assembly to debate the Rights of the Child in areas like Education, health and safety as well as protection.
The debate was quite good, it had substance and I must confess that these aspiring youth leaders conducted themselves with a lot more comity than we the elected representatives have amongst ourselves.
They treated each other with more courtesy by far than we the elected adults have with each other.
Although this was a symbolic event and a teaching moment for our young Belizeans, it was more than that.
Our children were there to tell us about their fears and concerns, how they feel about where their country is going and, in their minds, things are not going well.
They have seen a decade where close to a half of our children between the ages 13 to 16 are not in school.
They know that without an education it is very difficult to get a good job.
They are also tired of the funerals, tired of watching their friends and family die before they reach the age of 25.
And they are tired of the hopelessness that is presently the condition in Belize.
To those brave young people who were in Belmopan last Wednesday and to our children everywhere, I want you to know that I hear you.
We in the PUP hear you when you say that our hospitals and polyclinics are not up to standards, and that medication is unavailable.
We know how worried you are about your peers who are dying senselessly.
We hear you when you say that proper access to education is needed countrywide.
We hear you and we agree with you on all these things and I promise to go to work hard every day to turn things around so that when you grow up you can say, I live in a good country and I live in a Belize that works for everyone.
Thanks, God bless and have a safe week.