San Mateo Education Campaign
On Jan 29th and 30th meetings were hosted by Pastor Robert Palacio and his wife Laverne Palacio, along with Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch (BRCSP) and four Volunteer Vacationers, two of whom are nurses, at Faith Bible Church in San Mateo. The goal is to provide reliable information and material about HIV, sexually transmitted infections and to reduce the incidence of teen pregnancies. The nurses supplied information in Spanish and the Belize Red Cross provided an English flip book that was made possible with support and approval of the Jamaica Red Cross HIV team.
12 children attended the first meeting and 14 attended the second. The children were very enthusiastic about the materials and information provided. The girls and boys had separate time to talk with the nurses about issues specific for them.
While the children were getting information, a round table discussion was held to identify direct needs of the children in San Mateo.
Results of Round Table Discussion
There is a lack of parental support and an urgent need to develop parental training classes, as many parents are very young. day care and preschool are also needed for the community. Pastor Robert and Laverne mentioned that many parents are working 10 hour days, hard labour, many of them 6 days per week, and are exhausted by days end. Many of the children are left unattended while both parents work.
The needs identified in the discussion include:
- Feeding programs - for many families, nutritional help is needed
- Clothes & shoes drive - many children do not have suitable clothes or shoes
- Sexual & reproductive health education
- Parenting classes
- After school tutoring & assistance with homework
After becoming aware of the immediate need, the international volunteer group, Direct Abundance, was able to secure a large donation of baby clothes by a few of their volunteers who arrived the next day.
The San Pedro Branch of Red Cross will continue working with the Faith Bible Church to address these needs and invites anyone who can assist in any way to contact the Red Cross at the address listed below for further information.
Food Drive in San Pedro
International volunteer vacation group Direct Abundance requested assistance in doing a food drive while in Belize. The goal was to raise both funds and food to support the many people in the community who rely weekly on the food bank.
Eight volunteers participated, in front of four local stores to collect money and food.
A big “Thank You” to the Sandbar Hostel for providing a meeting place and bag lunch and water to the volunteers. By day's end, $680.00 had been collected, along with four boxes of food items. BRCSP is very grateful for the generosity of our community, and would like to give a special thank you to Caye Mart, Mermaid Store and both Super Buy stores for their assistance with the food drive.
Proceeds were divided between Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Branch, Raise Me Up and the San Pedro Food Bank who also received all of the food.
To show support and keep updated with our work please like our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/belizeredcrosssanpedro
The San Pedro Branch is looking forward to a great 2017 and would like to thank everyone who helps us to help the community!