Below is my submission for a local essay competition about three things that youth in my country would change or improve in their city. I hope that you enjoy it!
Three things that I would change or improve in my city
By Nia Beane
I am a citizen in this beautiful country of Belize and I have the pleasure of being able to live in the capital, Belmopan. Belmopan is a beautiful place and it has a lot of culture and beauty. I love my city. However, if I could improve or change three things in my city I would (1) add and improve facilities for youth, (2) help those who have mental and/or physical disabilities, and (3) make Belmopan safer. So, what would I do to make these changes?
The first thing that I would do is add more facilities for youth. As a young person, sports, arts, and music are very important. I feel that Belmopan doesn’t have enough places to go in free time or resources and funds to run many activities. I play volleyball, and I wish that there was a better place for my team to practice. We practice at Independence Park and that is not ideal for the considerable time we spend sweeping water off the court on rainy days, scraping our knees on the concrete, and having to cancel practice because of the weather and condition of the court. More extracurricular activities would mean that the younger generation becomes more talented and can contribute more to society. A lot of our youth are committing crimes and are on the streets; we can help this problem by creating an alternative initiated by authority or leaders in our community. All we need is to have youth display what they want and somehow have people capable of making a change pick out what is possible to do and establish that.
The second thing that I would do is improve help for those or have mental or physical disabilities. I know several people with dyslexia and ADHD. From what I’ve seen, there aren’t many schools that cater to these differences. If someone has a mental disability, they shouldn’t be pushed down by it and have to struggle. They are just as intelligent and creative as everyone else. This city should also cater to those with special needs. I have witnessed some efforts and have seen some schools that do have a special program. I feel that there should at least be more education exerted so that people are aware of different special needs and how to deal with them. There could be an affordable or free afterschool program with tutors or volunteers willing to devote their time to sit down and help those who are struggling in school, even if the person doesn’t have a disability but just has trouble understanding certain concepts. If something similar to a program like this was established, Belmopan’s resources would increase.
Lastly, I would like to make Belmopan safer. Especially at night, Belmopan is not very safe in my opinion. There have been countless people robbed and even raped at night. While I was practicing with my volleyball team once, a man came up to us explaining that he had just been robbed by a young man. We tried contacting the police, but there was little to no help given. I would like if there were more lights especially where people go to hang out at night, such as having bright street lights at Independence Park. There should also be more police officers available to deal with crime immediately after it happens. I don’t feel safe walking around at night. Many of my friends, mainly women, are not comfortable either. People have said that many institutions don’t do anything if a woman says she has been raped. I would like to have support groups for women who have been raped, sexually or physically abused, or have experienced domestic violence. A support group for men would be beneficial as well. All of these groups would contribute to the goal of a better Belmopan.
In conclusion, if I would change or improve things in my city, I would not only change those stated above, but change the mindsets of Belmopan’s residents. We have an amazing city and we can do a lot to improve it and make it even more amazing. As a community, we can unite, merge resources, and support each other. As a capable youth, I will do my best to change my city for the better, working with others to improve facilities for youth, help those who have mental and/or physical disabilities, and make Belmopan safer. I love my city. However, if I could improve or change three things in my city I would step up and do so.