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Mar 30, 2017

New House by Hand in Hand Ministries

A single mother of six children was officially gifted with her brand new home today. The Port Loyola resident and her family were selected by the Hand in Hand Ministries to be a recipient of their programme. The family has faced difficult times living in house where flood affected them regularly and was impacting their quality of life. With assistance from Scotia Bank and Hand in Hand, the family’s dream came true.  News Five’s Andrea Polanco was at the handing over ceremony.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Amelda Casimira Valerio and her six children are now living under a new roof – a brand new house handed over by the Hand in Hand Ministries and Scotia Bank. The family of seven says this house is something they have been wanting for years and will be a big change from the place where they once lived. When it rains or floods in the city they would have to walk in water and to some extent live in their lower flat home while it’s underwater – but with this new house all of that has changed. Today they officially received the keys from the donors.

 

Amelda Casimira Valerio

Amelda Casimira Valerio, New Homeowner

“I was so grateful and happyfu get wah house from hand in hand Ministries because I could sleep good now and I nuh have to worry that I di walk inna wata with the children. So, I so thankful fu Hand in Hand Ministries, Scotia Bank and everybody weh deh out deh weh help Hand in Hand – continue to help Hand in Hand to help us people weh really need it because I mi really need. It was so hard to live four and a half years of walking in wata inna that downstairs.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How are the children taking this news?”

 

Amelda Casimira Valerio

“Well, they are happy. Deh very happy because we get wah new home so we very happy because we nuh have to walk inna wata again. It could rain and we di sleep. First, when it does rain our stuff get wet up because wata does hold up inna the downstairs. So, when Hand in Hand come to my aid, they help me very good.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“In terms of what you guys did on the house – your house – talk to us a little about that?”

 

Amelda Casimira Valerio

“Well, when we build the house, everybody come painting and finish up all the jobs them. But I was happy because Scotia Bank was there too. They were there with us too. I give thanks to Mister Panton that he dah the one weh mi shub fi me mek I get my home. He tell me ‘Miss Valerio, Scotia Bank wah give yuh your home.’ So, I cry. I nuh know weh fu do. I happy, happy, happy. So, I give thanks to everyone because my dream come true. I mi di think like it nuh mi wah come true.”

 

The building of this house was led by Hand in Hand Ministries. Director Bernard Panton says this house, like the hundred others they’ve gifted, is going to a deserving single parent family.

 

Bernard Panton

Bernard Panton, Director, Building for Change Program, Hand in Hand Ministries

“This house is a sixteen by twenty. And we have been building a little smaller houses before like a sixteen by sixteen, but this is an option that we came up with and this is the first of the sixteen by twenties. So, Scotiabank has broken our record in expanding on our houses, right. Sister Casimira here has been working with Hand in Hand for years, because we do have a programme – a meeting session where we invite people who are interested in the programme to attend. And she has been attending these meetings over two years and finally she has qualified and was ready to receive a house and so she is now a welcomed family member of hand in hand.”

 

Partner Scotia Bank made the funds available to do the building of this house for the Valerio family, through its corporate social responsibility program, particularly for under privileged residents affected by floods.

 

Elio Cabanas

Elio Cabanas, Marketing Manager, Scotia Bank

“Last year, we were able to get access tosome emergency recovery funds that we donated to some partner organizations including Hand in Hand Ministries. Out of that we are able to do a couple homes for people affected by floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters. What you are seeing here is out of that.   It is definitely part of our philanthropy at Scotia Bank and also part of our corporate social responsibility that we have been able to do it. This home that you are seeing here is a sixteen by twenty and it comes with electrical fixtures, installed with plumbing, installation of a bathroom and all the relevant fixtures that come with that.   We actually had our staff members from Scotia Bank that came out and assisted with this project. This is not the first one that we’ve done. We have done a number of them in the past and whenever we partner with Hand in Hand Ministries to build these homes, we would get our staff engaged in it and work towards this final product that you are seeing here today.”

 

Hand in Hand Ministries and Scotia Bank will be officially handing over two more new homes in Cayo and Dangriga next week. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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