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Jun 30, 2000

Habitat for Humanity lends a helping hand

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A house under construction is by no means an uncommon scene, but it’s not every day you see the owner lugging buckets of cement to and fro, or neighbors and friends stopping by to lend a hand. But that’s exactly what’s happening at the corner of Caesar Ridge Road and Reggae Street. For one Belize City woman, a lot of determination and an organization named Habitat for Humanity turned out to be the perfect combination.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting

Since late March, Danna Beaton and her daughter Stephanie have been mixing cement and cutting steel. These women aren’t apprentice construction workers, they are building their dream house from the ground up. The Beatons say with the help of Habitat for Humanity Belize and a few of their friends, sometime in the near future, they’ll be moving out of their present accommodations and into a much nicer home.

Danna Beaton

“One day I was washing and when I heard about Habitat for Humanity, I went to YWCA and I found out about it and they said that they were going to have their meeting. I went to the meeting and when I did, they told you what all you had to get and the procedures you had to go through and I did it. Then we had a lady named Miss Flowers, she came and looked at the house and she noticed it and saw what condition it was in and afterwards I got a letter saying that I was picked by Habitat for Humanity to get one of the houses.”

The house might be cheap, but it’s definitely not free.

Danna Beaton

“You have to put in sweat equity along with Pastor Kenrick Logan and me, Miss Joyce and my daughter and the volunteers.”

Janelle Chanona

“So you’ve been working hard then?”

Danna Beaton

“Yeah, the hardest part was to dig the foundation, right now it’s smooth sailing.”

Lillette Barkley Waite, chairperson of the Habitat for Humanity Belize, says the organization’s aim is to make adequate housing available to the common citizen.

Lillette Barkley Waite, Chairperson, Habitat for Humanity

“What’s happening is that the cost of the houses are going down. We are looking at about $22,000 for a two-bedroom cement house. That’s completed and at this point, the payments will be low. Also the interest rates if any, will be very minimal. So the everyday “Joe Blow” on the street, the everyday Belizean that has a minimal job will be able to afford a habitat house. That is Habitat’s aim, to house everyone in a comfortable, affordable condition.”

Janelle Chanona

“You done have which color curtains you’ll have and everything?”

Danna Beaton

“Well not really, but I know that I want the whole hall and the kitchen painted white, and I’m looking for other colours. I don’t really want to paint it the same green like this, you know.”

According to Habitat for Humanity Belize, this is the third house to be built since November of last year.

Reporting for News Five, I am Janelle Chanona

On Saturday, Habitat will be holding a radiothon at the Queen Square Market from 6:00 am to 12 noon in an effort to raise over $20,000, so that yet another house can be built in Belize City. Information on the organization’s program in Belize will also be available.

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