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Aug 8, 2016

B.T.L. Donates $100,000 in Hurricane Relief

Anwar Barrow

The Belize Red Cross and Hand In Hand Ministry are providing immediate and long term assistance to support victims of Hurricane Earl.  Belize Telemedia Limited has pledged fifty thousand dollars to each local organization and its relief efforts.  It’s a total of one hundred thousand dollars that will go towards the Red Cross’ innovative cash transfer program, and the construction or rebuilding of homes for those whose residence were destroyed by the storm.  B.T.L. Chairman Anwar Barrow was present for the handing over of the handsome contributions.

 

Anwar Barrow, Chairman, B.T.L. Executive Committee

“B.T.L., being a responsible corporate citizen, felt that this was an opportune time to give back to the community.  We are always supporting community initiatives with donations and in-kind support, but we felt that now with the hurricane, in the aftermath and given the amount of people who have been affected that this would be a great opportunity.  And so we reached out to the Red Cross and we reached out to Hand In Hand Ministry and we’re giving a total of one hundred thousand Belize dollars; fifty thousand to the Red Cross which they will use to help families directly affected by the hurricane with cash transfers that they can use to buy supplies that they need.  And we’re also giving fifty thousand dollars to Hand In Hand Ministry for the construction of homes which we are also going to be a part of in terms of our staff providing labor in helping to construct the homes.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“For such a large company I gather that there are also employees here at B.T.L. who may have suffered losses and damages as a result of this particular storm.  Is the company doing anything for its own as well?”

 

Anwar Barrow

“Absolutely.  We are right now working with our union representatives to help employees who have been affected by the storm. We are going to have a barbecue for them where the company is going to contribute the supplies, as well as match whatever money is raised.”

 

Lily Bowman

Lily Bowman, Executive Director, Belize Red Cross

“When B.T.L. called to advise that they would be contributing fifty thousand dollars to our relief response, we were very happy of course because it means that we would be able to reach that many more families. As I mentioned before the monies will be going directly towards benefiting those most affected; we haven’t selected the area yet—we do this by assessments, but we are looking at directly helping out a hundred more families at least. We do this through a CTP, a Cash Transfer Program and it is done through a credit card system—a onetime withdrawal—and it allows the beneficiaries to be able to purchase the things that he or she needs the most. And it is up to them; they make the decision, we don’t make that for them.”

 

Bernard Panton Sr.

Bernard Panton Sr., Hand In Hand Ministry

“Hand In Hand works right throughout the year to work with the most needy, especially during this hurricane, those are the people who surface. So we are a nonprofit organization and we depend on other organizations to come and assist. And so this funding, this partnership will be very helpful in allowing us to build more houses for more people who are needy. Our program has been ongoing and our main plan is to work with the most needy. We do have a selection process and so the most needy will be the ones that will be selected and they are also encouraged to work along with the construction of their house. So it is a hands-on situation where the person being helped will work along with the persons who are helping them.”

 

According to an estimate by the Belize Red Cross, the contribution from BTL will benefit approximately four hundred persons.

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