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Apr 25, 2018

Kraal Road Gets Resource Center

A new facility was inaugurated this morning in the Port Loyola community in Belize City.  It was funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID whose Vienna based Director, Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, flew into Belize for the event. OFID, he said, wants to reduce poverty in all sectors so that the centre will be offering opportunities to empower women. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

This morning in Port Loyola, a small handful of residents, mostly women and children, gathered on Kraal Road for a ceremony to officially open a resource center in that community.  The facility is the fruition of a shared vision brought to life by the Government of Belize, Port Loyola Organization for Women and the OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID.

 

Lauren Burgess-Eagan

Lauren Burgess-Eagan, Director, PLOW

“This building is going to be a lighthouse in a dark world.  We’re on the border of Queen Square and we’re still in Port Loyola, so we serve this area with love and joy in our hearts.  We welcome everybody to come here.  Already, they see the thing coming in and one said the washing machine, I want to operate that.  I didn’t know they had a washing machine operator.  You see, they make jobs for their own selves.”

 

Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish is OFID’s director general.  He has made the journey to Belize from Vienna for today’s inauguration.  The building which was acquired and renovated through that partnership is named after him.

 

Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish

Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, Director General, OFID

“Our slogan is Uniting Against Poverty, so poverty reduction is our mission.  It’s a noble mission and, as you know, poverty has many aspects.  There is poverty in education, poverty in food, poverty in health, poverty in energy and we are trying to do our best to work with different organizations and with different countries, like your country to help.  This is the main mission of our organization. I came from Vienna representing an institution which is created to help you, help countries and societies and people just like you. OPEC Fund for International Development is headquartered in Vienna, Austria.  We have something like one hundred and ninety-five people working for us, coming from thirty different cultures, fifty percent of them are females, yes, like you.”

 

A home for PLOW ensures that the work being done to assist residents in meeting their basic needs continues.

 

Lauren Burgess-Eagan

“OFID has allowed, and the Government of Belize has allowed women to work, to pay their bills, to feed their children, to send them to school.  OFID has allowed us to have this building which as a dream for all of us.  Today we are grateful.  The color of the building is pink and purple.  Purple for the deity of God and royalty of women and pink is for women.  We are soft, we are loving, we are caring.  And it doesn’t matter what you say, the world is not run without a woman.”

 

Sharing her testimony of the assistance she has received from the programme is twenty-nine-year-old Jacqueline Dawson.  She is a single mother who has benefited from being a part of PLOW.

 

Jacqueline Dawson

Jacqueline Dawson, Participant, PLOW

“Port Loyola Organization for Women is an organization established to help struggling families put food on the table.  Today, I see it fitting to acknowledge that PLOW has contributed positively to my role as a mother and as a professional.  You see, I too, like many other Belizeans, have struggled to provide for my family.  Thankfully, PLOW has been there for me.  Through this organization, I was able to work professionally and I was able to stretch my dollar, like most Belizean would put it.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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