Three things that I would change or improve in my city- Local Essay Entry

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.

A New Dawn – Org. Poem

Last year, I wrote a poem entitled “The Unspoken Words”. It was quite rushed because I wrote the poem on the day of a district poem and speech competition. This year, I had more notice, so I was able to focus more on what I was saying and dedicate more time to the construction of the poem (Of course, I procrastinated a little). I focused on the idea of a ‘new world’ because there are a lot of negative things going on currently in the world. I wanted to encourage poem to step up and also let them know that we and world citizens can unite and collaborate to make our dreams a reality. Enough talking, let’s get to reading this poem.

Also, if you have any critiques or comments, please say so below in the comment section. I haven’t gone to the competition yet, but I hope I get more than a participation certificate (like last year) 🙂

~ Update: I received 3rd place for my poem performance.

*Below is the poem*

A New Dawn

By Nia Beane

My mind wanders to a place untouched,
an idea veiled within the depths of this world
A new dawn, a place united, free,
and not obscured by our wicked perception of a perfect reality

I dream of a world where my children will not be burdened with the sins of those who came before them,
facing problems that have become inevitable,
drowned in their misery,
a dystopia at its finest

I imagine a realm where everyone knows that they have a purpose,
and no person has to move that chair from beneath their feet because people told them they were worthless.

Where no child has to wonder if they will eat another meal before they die of starvation, while at the same time, western culture complains about the quality of shoes and clothing, knowing that they will get what they want.

I see a new day, rising on the horizon, a day where every woman living on the earth can walk down the street without fear and voice her opinions without judgment.

I see a time where those in authority respect people and find new ways to decrease war instead of starting it.

Youth, such as I, will no longer have to struggle with finding their identity,
trying to fit in with unrealistic standards and goals too unattainable.
And no person will have to battle with feeling insecure because they realize their worth.

Every soul will find God, love him, and worship him.
Every problem will be fixed by innovative and creative minds.

Are we forgetting the lives of those who came before,
Sacrificing their lives so that we could have more?
Valiantly fighting,
Peacefully rallying,
Yet crime is increasing, and rates keep on tallying.

My mind wanders to a place untouched,
an idea veiled within the depths of this world. Bursting with love and peace, and controlled by hope and understanding.

No discrimination,
Every child with an education,
An end to starvation.
This world is what we need,
It’s within our reach.

No depression,
No obsessions,
This world is what we need,
It’s within our reach.

Every single positive thing that can be done contributes to a new world.
It’s within our reach; a new dawn is on the horizon.

The Unspoken Words – Org. Poem

Last year, I wrote this poem in a few hours at school, on the day of a district poem and speech competition. The person who was originally doing it backed out that day. Unfortunately,  I had to memorize it as well. When I went on to the stage that night, I forgot about half of the poem, so I made up lines until the time minimum came. Because of the circumstances, I didn’t make it in the top 3 (of about 6 people), but I received a participation certificate.

*Below is the poem*

The Unspoken Words

By Nia Beane

I cannot hear, I’m not permitted to…
I cannot speak, my voice is obstructed.

Be like the others, who else can you be?
I am a fish, so I can’t climb a tree.

Society proudly gives us a facade.
They mold us, they shape us, and from them we are made.

The greed, the money,
The despair in our eyes,
Our sinful lifestyle,
Our repetitive lies.

The BANG! Of the gunshots is now just a norm.
Violence today is that of an intractable storm.

We are killing ourselves, we are bombing our homes.
We are raping our daughters, we are shooting our sons.

Our nation is collapsing right before our eyes,
We ignore its pace, then it hits us by surprise.

The blood of our fighters,
The cry of the night,
The unspoken truth,
Stop! This isn’t right.

All the songs, talk about what’s wrong.
We take no action, yet want satisfaction.

The wars are not ceasing, peace is decreasing.
The news that we watch has become displeasing.

From generation to generation, we try and try,
But just end up complaining and afterwards die.

Youth are the future, it’s a state of mind.
If we learn to love each other, peace we will find.

Our ideas need to be turned into actions.
We are the resources, so let’s merge our talents.

Our capacity is higher than that of crime rates.
We have the power, so make a change.

Too much Styrofoam and Plastic! (Small Essay)

Hey guys!

Recently, I applied to the Belize Zoo Camp 2017 with this essay. I have been accepted and will be going soon.

~ Update: I went and it was really fun!

Too much Styrofoam and Plastic!
Written by Nia Beane

 

My name is Nia Beane and I am a Belizean youth, aged 14. I love Belize because it is beautiful and rich with culture. Yet, there are many environmental problems that are talking away our wonderful forests and wildlife and overall, national heritage. One of these problems is the extensive use of Styrofoam and plastics. A lot of times we can see these materials spread out on land, especially on and near beaches, which decreases tourism directly and indirectly. The thing is, we use so much Styrofoam and plastic daily and, in my community, I don’t see many people even trying to make a difference.  Glass bottles take approximately 1 million years to biodegrade, plastic bottles usually take at least 450 years to fully biodegrade, and Styrofoam cups and plastic bags can take 500 years to forever to biodegrade. As you can see, this is a big problem, especially because we use these materials a lot.
One solution to this problem is to recycle or make use out of the used materials. We can make art out of waste materials and even sell them to make money and fund raise for cleanup projects. This last idea leads to another solution, which is having cleanups. Having regular cleanups would decrease the impact on global warming and get citizens involved and engaged in helping our environment. Another thing that we can do is get citizens educated so that they can make a difference in their community. For example, I am currently reading at book entitled Plastic Purge, written by Michael SanClements, and this book has educated me about the ways that plastic is harming the environment and solutions that we can implement in our daily lives.

 

A few years ago, I also applied to the Chaa Creek Eco Kids Summer Camp. Unfortunately, I wasn’t accepted, but my essay was featured on several Belizean blogs.

 

By: Nia Beane, 10 years old

The following is a submission of one of our applicants to this year’s Chaa Creek Eco Kids Summer Camp.

What I think is important about recycling and helping the earth!

I am Nia Beane, I like being Eco-friendly and I am sure I will enjoy going to this camp.

I am very glad when I hear the word “Eco” or “Recycle” because those are words of two wonderful ideas. I have been recycling for quite a while with bottles, containers, and plastic items and dropping them off at the Radisson Recycling Center in Belize City . Now in my house they call me the  ”Recycling Queen”.

I like caring for plants, animals, trees, and things in the jungle because they provide us with lots of things and sometimes animals are in danger. When you are Eco-friendly you help the world and make it a better place to live and enjoy for people and animals. It is good when you help the environment because it makes Belize beautiful and helps lots of people.

Pollution is another problem in Belize which damages the earth and the environment, so when we see trash on the ground we should pick it up. Lots of people don’t really care about being Eco and helping the earth, but they should care because the world needs our help and we need the world’s help. I try to be very kind to the earth because it  provides me with resources and food that I use. I think you should recycle because it saves money and resources that you use every day.

I have never been to a summer camp and I think coming to this one will make me happy, learn new things, make new friends, and experience different things.

A poem I just made about up about recycling goes like this:

Recycling is a good thing,
Plastic, Paper, Glass

Recycling is a great thing,
You don’t even have to take a class.

Recycling helps the whole world,
and you should.

Come on and recycle,
I know that you could.

I really want to go to this camp… And be an Eco-Kid!!!