The ancient African proverb “It Takes A Village to Raise a Child” definitely holds true in San Pedro. Life is a lot easier when you are part of a network of friends and family, a community, a neighborhood.
I know countless people that play mom, dad, aunt or uncle to various kids. Our youth is an impressionable group and not always dealt the best hand in life. It is our job as adults within the community to help guide them forward to making smart choices and moving in positive directions.
On Eagles Wings Ministries (OEWM) and SHINE (Shaping Healthy Identities through Nurturing and Empowerment) are 2 great organizations that are coming together to help educate young girls and give them the spiritual and emotional necessities they need to live a happy and productive life.
OEWM, based out of the USA, is expanding their reach to San Pedro. Since 2008, their mission has been to provide hope, empowerment and a brighter future to females that have been sexually exploited and to those at risk of exploitation.
OEWM incorporated in Belize in October of 2014. OEWM has completed several bar outreaches in San Pedro by taking gift bags into the bars filled with goodies and have included a hotline for counseling, support, and prayer. Future bar outreaches have been planned and OEWM is working with locals in San Pedro to carry forth this outreach going forward. OEWM has also conducted several other trainings in Belize on Human Trafficking, including a training hosted by the US Embassy of Belize. In October of 2014, a girls event called Illuminate was held with middle school and high school girls. In January of 2014, OEWM also remodeled the office of Social Services in San Pedro to provide a nicer place for youth and children who go there to be interviewed after abuse.
To continue providing services to teen girls, OEWM has partnered with the 2014-15 Miss San Pedro, Michelle Nunez, to create an empowerment program for teen girls called SHINE. Their goal is to empower and motivate girls to reach their full potential. They combine curriculum with fun activities to boost self-esteem and encourage healthy decision-making.
In January of 2015, OEWM purchased a piece of land in San Pedro which will be the future home of the SHINE Center. The center will offer a place for girls to receive therapy, participate in the SHINE program, fun events and workshops, and will house their work empowerment program which will offer a fair wage for females who wish to leave the bars. Girls will participate in making handmade products, receive mentors, and learn valuable life skills.
Both groups hope the community will get involved to support, pray, volunteer, and be part of their mission!
The next fundraiser will be held May 16, 2015 at Ramon’s Village. Contact Michelle Nunez for additional details at [email protected] or call 630-2560.
I went to the last one with Karen and Barb and had a fabulous evening. It was nice to do something different and help a great cause – Girls Rock! OEWM and SHINE had a great turn out and did some really good raffle prizes. Ramon’s did an excellent job on the appetizers. The bacon wrapped shrimp was awesome and so were the spring rolls.