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Dec 22, 2016

Christmas for the Mentally Challenged in Belize City

The Welcome Resource Center held its annual Christmas party for its one hundred and fifty plus persons living with a mental condition. Staff, volunteers and donors engaged the participants in fun activities, lunch and they were given gifts. News Five spoke with Administrator Joyce Ellis about the annual event.


Joyce Ellis, Administrator, Welcome Resource Center

“We usually invite them over to come and interact with our participants to come and see what it is like to be with them for at least a couple hours of the day and you see that they are normal just like us, you know.”


Andrea Polanco

“Talk to us about some of the things they are doing today?”


Joyce Ellis

Joyce Ellis

“For us, we try to use childhood games; games that are challenging, yet fun. And we actually have them winning prizes, every time they reach a level they win a prize. Also, what we try to do is that we try to have everyone walk away with something on this day.”


Andrea Polanco

“Now, talk to us a bit about the people you are serving – the people who are participating here today. Give us a little background on who they are – would they be people who normally get this opportunity to have some fun for the Christmas?”


Joyce Ellis

“Normally, the population that we serve wouldn’t be able to get this Christmas dinner around this time or even the love that we show them around this time. What we do is that through the year we show them that love and make it extra special for them during this time and for us to be able to reach out to them; have everyone walking away with a gift – that is very much important during this time. For us as a staff, we say just knowing Christ is Christmas and as a staff that is what we portray during the entire year with our participants here. We are here as a family. Now I tell people I don’t go to work, I go to a fun place because I know that every day I come here it is different. You learn from them and they learn from you. For me, it is just to see them happy and see them leaving here with that smile on their face, for me is more than the pay check.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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