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Feb 16, 2018

Building a Fence to Protect Camalote Students

Parents and teachers of a primary school in Camalote, Cayo, are tonight breathing a sigh of relief. That’s because a fence is now in place providing security and safety to the students. The fencing will also assist teachers to better monitor students and most importantly, it will keep away perpetrators who may want to prey on the children. Built at a cost of seventy-five thousand dollars, the project was undertaken by the area representative as well as the village council from both political parties.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports. 

 

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The construction of a chain link fence encircling St. Jude Roman Catholic School in Camalote Village is the result of a petition made by school principal Shevon Ramirez to Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat.  The request came about after reported sightings of a white van in the vicinity of the school compound.  That suspicious vehicle, it is believed, was being used to abduct children from the school grounds.

 

Shevon Ramirez

Shevon Ramirez, Principal, St. Jude R.C.

“As the principal, during our PTA starting in September, parents were constantly asking what could be done to enclose the school compound because of the scare around October/November with the kidnapping of students.  So the PTA, along with other parents, met and we decided to write a letter to Honorable Julius Espat for him to help us.  And sure indeed, he came and he responded and said that he would assist with the fencing of our school at St. Jude R.C.”

 

It’s a project that saw Espat turning to the business community for assistance in order to make the fence a reality for students and teachers.

 

Julius Espat

Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South

“They have always been complaint that the school is too open to the highway which is a highly trafficable highway, and they wrote me a letter asking for assistance and we analyzed it.  We have been doing fences in other communities; we did one in Cotton Tree also, so it’s not something new.  But this one was a large one and so before I told them yes, I went out to ensure that we had the financing in place.  We got back to them after about a week and we started in November and we finished sometime in January.  But the feedback has been pretty good.  The value of the project is approximately seventy-five thousand Belize dollars.  We financed it basically with some of the community vote that I get, I donated about four to five months of my salary towards it.  My company gave some financial contribution and labor and I went to other business communities that normally help us and we showed them the business plan.  We didn’t get money from them, we got material.”

 

The fence, says Ramirez, brings a piece of mind to the staff because they can better monitor the activities of students at school.

 

Shevon Ramirez

“At this moment, we are all happy about having this enclosure for the students’ safety because at times students would probably walk out and we didn’t know because they were various outlets that they could have walked and went without letting the teachers or myself know about it.”

 

The undertaking was a collaborative effort between the area representative and the Camalote Village Council which is formed by members of the United Democratic Party.  Despite partisanship, both groups continue to work closely with each other.

 

Julius Espat

“We worked with the village council, they are a U.D.P. village council, but we have a good working relationship with them.  So they gave us the green light to be able to do the work.  Apart from that there was some land that was kind of community land and they made sure that it was placed for the school to use and that way we were able to secure the perimeter, leaving the football field for the community outside.”

 

Reporting for news five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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