The Inspiration Center (their motto is, aptly, Where Hope Lives) was founded in 2014 by our Prime Minister’s wife, The First Lady of Belize, Kim Simplis-Barrow to help some of the most vulnerable children in Belize. The facilities are located just outside of Belize City.
A few years ago, I asked a guest blogger to write about her job at Belize’s Inspiration Center. She’s an amazing lady – who is currently back in the US with her young son. A speech pathologist who came down from North Dakota to Belize to work and help. Please read: Ashley’s Story: The Inspiration Center – Helping Kids in Belize. She took some beautiful photos…
Belize is an incredibly young country – the median age is 22. It is over 35 in the United States. And many families are large and many live on a very low income. When a child is born with a disability, either mental or physical or one that impedes social development, education is sparse (to say the least) and until recently, help was just about non-existent.
The Inspiration Center was born – and today, its 19 staff members (including one doctor, one speech therapist and one physical therapist) help kids from all over the country – both at the center and with community outreach. They encourage early diagnosis and see babies as young as one month old to gauge hearing and physical abilities.
They help the kids, teach the parents and the communities. And their waiting list is long.
It is TOUGH in Belize. As they said in our meeting yesterday about fundraising, that even though Belize is a small country, there are villages behind villages behind villages. Very remote corners of the country that have almost no medical assistance, much less care for children with special needs. A village in the Toledo district can be a 7 hour drive to Belize City – and that is if the family has a car.
Here’s the group from yesterday.
To give a family hope where they see none, to give the child skills where they had none, to teach a child to walk, or even to brush his teeth or comb his hair…it’s BEYOND amazing.
Sessions are $10bzd (or $5US) but many families can not afford that amount.
The small team from the center sees 4 kids from San Pedro on a weekly basis and hopes to one day have a community outreach staff member located here. They not only work to care for children around the country but to raise funds for the running of this entire operation. It is a monumental job.
SO…they are having a benefit here in San Pedro. And I hope that everyone who is able can help in some way.
Here are the details.
June 18th, 7pm to 11pm at the Mahogany Bay Great House. It is the inaugural event for this massive building!
The Great House in January 2016.
The stair case was put in this month.
I know they are rushing to finish the first floor and the bar area for this event – the Prime Minister and his wife will be there!
Dress code is Evening Casual WHITE. Think white slacks and a white button down, or a simple white dress. This is not a super formal event.
Tickets are available at Ramon’s Village, El Fogon and Rum + Bean Coffee Shop at Mahogany Bay. ALL proceeds will go directly to the Inspiration Center.
Donors are filling in. Mahogany Bay is donating the Facility, the staff and the liquor aside from donations by Bowen & Bowen of all the beer. Travellers Liquors Ltd. is donating all rum. Karl H. Menzies will be donating the wine.
At 8pm, food will be served. Tables/food are being donated by Belcampo Lodge in Punta Gorda, by Ian Anderson’s Farm House Deli, by Victoria House, by Rojo Beach Bar & Lounge, by AmberGreens, the gorgeous aquaponics green house on the Mahogany Bay property and by the TacoShack, also part of Mahogany Bay.
Ramon’s Village is providing both food and a donation.
From 9pm to 11pm, there will be a band called The Tequila Shooters…rock n roll and dancing.
There will be a raffle at the event as well. Tickets will be $20bzd each – all going to the Inspiration Center – and offering amazing prizes.
Top prize is donated by Mahogany Bay and Scout Hotels, their hotel management group.
First class round trip tickets for two with American Airlines and transfers from Belize to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Scout Hotels is donating a one week stay at their uber-gorgeous spot on the historic and BEAUTIFUL island. It’s where the Obamas take their summer vacation.
A chance to meet part of the first family of Belize AND of the United States.
Donations are being solicited and are coming in from businesses around Belize.
SO, I hope you are picking up what I just laid down. This is an AMAZING cause. Early diagnosis, social work, medical care and therapy for children on this island and around Belize with disabilities.
And this should be one amazing event – one where the whole community comes out to show their support.
If you want to help with donations for the event, you can contact Beth Clifford at firstname.lastname@example.org OR, if you are unable to attend the event, take a look at the site.
They take donations of money and (through their wish list) of items as seemingly insignificant as fun kids stickers – all of this is on their website.
Please SHARE as often as possible.