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Dec 24, 2002

Family of ten receive keys to Habitat home

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We’re no strangers to the joy of first time homeowners receiving the keys to a new house, but when that big present arrives on Christmas, it’s something special.

Marion Ali, Reporting

Some people can only dream of owning their own home, but for Romelia Ogaldez and her family of eight, when she got involved with Habitat for Humanity, that dream became a reality…block by block.

Romelia Ogaldez, Habitat homeowner

“Well I feel proud of it because a new home like this. You get your new home because you start to pay lee bit by lee bit and when you finish pay it’ll be yours.”

Marion Ali

“The kids like it, your husband like it?”

Romelia Ogaldez

“Everybody like it, cause they say they want their own home and everything.”

What’s different about this house is that in addition to her own labour, Ogaldez was aided by employees of the Belize Bank, who donated their time and hard work. In addition, the bank kicked in with a sizable donation to Habitat.

Carla Sainsbury, Habitat for Humanity Belize

“We also get money through big corporations. Like in this case, we got money from the Belize Bank. Eighty percent of the cost of this house from the Belize Bank.”

Marion Ali

“How do families qualify for these kinds of homes?”

Carla Sainsbury

“A family needs to be a family in need, meaning that they are living in deplorable conditions. That’s the role of Habitat, to eradicate shacks from around the country of Belize. They have to have that, they have to have a piece of land, it has to be filled, and they have to have children under the age of sixteen that’s dependent upon them. And also be willing to work on their house and the house of other people.”

It is with this kind of volunteerism in mind that the Belize Bank’s staff and management got involved.

Anjali Vasquez, Marketing Officer, Belize Bank

“Habitat for Humanity provides a human right, they give families the opportunity, who probably could not go to another financial institution or are not financially stable enough, the opportunity to own their own home. And they do it in the fashion where for instance the money that is donated is recycled from project to project. So the money donated not only benefits the Ogaldez family, but will continue to benefit other families as long as it can run.”

Also helping to make things a little more affordable are construction supply companies, who offer significant discounts on building materials. Meanwhile, another house in the same neighbourhood will be completed by February. This will bring the number of Habitat homes in Belize to fifteen. Marion Ali for News 5.

Habitat has also expanded its work to the south, where a house is under construction in Big Creek.

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