Statement on Incident at Youth Hostel

Belize District; October 2, 2018.

The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation has contained an incident which occurred at the girls’ section of the Princess Royal Youth Hostel residential facility this morning.

At around 10:00 am on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, ten (10) female residents gained access to the roof from the inside of the female dormitory by breaking portions of the sheet rock ceiling and forcefully prying loose sheets of zinc. Upon discovering the breach of the building, the staff, with assistance from the BDF volunteers on site and the Police, worked together and safely removed the residents from the roof. The incident this morning was sparked when alternative protocols were put in place to provide educational classes within the dormitory building, instead of the usual classrooms. A few staff members had called in sick and so relief staff were being brought in to provide proper supervision. As such, the residents could not be escorted around the compound as per the normal schedule of activities until the relief staff arrived on the compound. Some of the residents, however, reacted negatively to the change in operations.

Behavioural issues are common among the high-risk female population residing at the Youth Hostel, as many of these adolescents are affected by unresolved trauma. From time to time, this unfortunately manifests in aggressive and destructive behaviours. The staff along with the counsellors and social workers at the facility, continue to work with the residents to help them to develop alternative strategies to manage their emotions and behaviours.  

The Youth Hostel strives to provide rehabilitation and development services for adolescents in conflict with the law and those with serious behavioural and in some cases mental health issues, to enhance their knowledge and skills, and empower them to become more productive members of the community.

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