After yesterdays meeting at the Sunbreeze Hotel conference room, I walked away feeling it was everything I had hoped for and more. I am beyond excited we are coming together with a common goal of reestablishing Belize Red Cross presence here in San Pedro and developing an active, productive efficient branch. In the process we are also creating a stronger charity network so we can help each other accomplish individual group goals and benefit the community as a whole. A good example of this, Eve from Mama Vilma’s volunteered that she had a computer connection when Lily mentioned one of their plans in Belize city were to be able to offer computer training to help people gain stronger work related skills.
Currently the Belize Red Cross is working side by side with their donors Norwegian Red Cross and ECHO, United States Embassy and Canada Fund to implement community projects in the different districts of Belize. We all agreed that a San Pedro Red Cross branch will bring much needed programs, education and training to the island.
Information coming on the soon to be implemented Disaster Risk Reduction Program. Training will be done for all of coastal Belize including San Pedro and Caye Caulker and as far south as Punta Gorda. The goal is to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and impact Disasters include: rapid population growth, unplanned urbanization, environmental degradation and climate change. Belize Bahamas and St Lucia are all Caribbean countries that are participating in Disaster Risk Reduction.
A few interesting facts about the Belize Red Cross:
The Red Cross has had a presence in Belize since 1914, the Clarion news paper carried out a request for the women of British Honduras to assist in WW1 War effort by knitting and sending warm clothing to the Red Cross in England.
Today the Belize Red Cross does a wide range of programs: including vulnerability and capacity assessments, forming training and equipping community disaster response teams such as first responders, developing community emergency plans, specialized training for volunteers, education of communities in health and disaster preparedness, certifying home care givers, assessing family needs, providing psychological support, teaching and administering first aid, training staff and volunteers, planning with stakeholders, working with schools and training students in preparedness, strategic pre-stocking of relief items and so much more.
Aside from back to San Pedro 🙂 here is an overview of where the Belize Red Cross is heading:
In process of enhancing and upgradrading current programs
Recruiting and training more long term volunteers
Strengthening youth involvement at all levels in & in all programs
Creating a stronger infrastructure and improving efficiency
Diversifying current Programs – evidence and results based
Become more innovative in fundraising
If anyone locally or globally would like to get involved in this much needed effort please leave comment. Thanks the Belize Red cross for reaching out to San Pedro and to all who came to the meeting yesterday.
Please do not forget to join Red Cross Belize facebook page.