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A new meaning

Wednesday 4th August 2010

Defying existing descriptions, Belize’s Courtney Gillett determines to set a new definition of youth.  


I am 23 years old and I don’t know – perhaps I was raised in a different environment (I grew up in a river village 18 miles outside of Belize City surrounded by relatives and close friends) but I have never considered myself a ‘youth’.

The Young People of BelizeWe are the Youths of this country!Youths are the future of Belize!… *sigh* I find the term ‘youth’ to be an annoying cliché, one that exudes not joy or vision or leadership but, rather, deferred dreams, ‘ghetto’ fashion and attitudes, base ambitions and a failed society.  ‘Youth’ represents for me a perpetual and depressing struggle.

Of course, there are a number of exceptions to my personal conceptions. There are youth leaders who really do try to make things work in Belize especially and particularly through the youth groups of their respective churches. I taught at Pallotti High School for a year and a half, and I know of many students who assist their local parish churches in organizing youth trips, Bible study groups, fundraising shows and community clean-up activities. Outside of the church arena, there are young people who work hard at being positive examples through the Scouts Association of Belize, Youth for the Future, Belize Dance Company, school music bands (such as the Grace Primary School Steel Band) and some international groups such as the Red Cross, Rotaract and Lions. However, I do not think it is enough. The government sometimes sends young people to regional workshops and when they are interviewed on their return home, they express such drive and motivation to get something done. But, with all the political and financial red-tape, I remain sceptical about how much of their ambitions are actually supported and the passion fades.

I do sincerely wish that when I attend the programme in September, I will be able to set a new definition of ‘youth’ for myself – one that will be refreshing to talk about and to a joy to live out.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Monday 9th August 2010 6:31 pm

    Hey Courtney,

    Of course you’re a YOUTH with a lot to learn, to share and to develop regarding peace-building and community development ! You’re born to make it happen.

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