One Struggle Group Belize
Commonwealth Point of Light 79. Grace Flowers
Grace Flowers, representing Belize, coordinates and leads the ‘One Struggle Group’, a support network for those affected by gun violence in Belize City.
Having grown up in one of the most violent gang areas in Belize, losing two brothers and a nephew to gun violence, Grace is a prominent figure in the community leading change for a more secure and safe environment. Grace acts a coordinator for the police in her neighbourhood, leads regular meetings and ensures that strong police and public relations are built. Grace’s positive influence has helped hundreds of young people to stay away from gang involvement, resulting in a dramatic decrease of crime in the area.
Claire Evans OBE, UK High Commissioner in Belize said:
“I am delighted that Grace has been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen as a Commonwealth Point of Light.
“Grace has shown remarkable commitment and bravery in her determination to provide a better present and future, for the young people in her neighbourhood of Belize City, an area known for its gang violence and crime. The fact that Grace has gained the respect of many gang leaders, of the wider community and of the police, speaks volumes about her and all that she does.
“Her work is a shining example of the impact that one dedicated volunteer can make in improving the everyday lives of people. Under her positive influence hundreds of youths have been guided away from gang involvement and a life of crime, while many grieving mothers and others affected by crime and violence have found support from Grace. She is an inspirational woman with a powerful vision to create a peaceful environment in which people, especially the youth, can thrive.”
“It is with humility that I stand here today receiving the Points of Light Award. Many communities throughout Belize are plagued with crime and violence, leaving the youths with no outlet and the feeling of despondency. Engulfed in this culture on a daily basis results in the youths feeling that there is no way out, or the only way to survive is to be a part of the crime and violence. My role as a community member is to be their support system, which in some case requires me to play the role of a mother, sister and friend. A responsible citizen should assist in providing an outlet for these youths. I encourage them to keep their heads up, stay humble, be respectful and most of all stay focused.
“Once again thank you for such a prestigious recognition. I pledge my continued support in the community I serve.”