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Feb 8, 2011

Make Belize proud; students build a house for hurricane victim

Hurricane Richard hit parts of Belize with a vengeance last October twenty-fourth. The Hattieville community felt the full brunt of the storm and many families were displaced by the force of the winds. A resident, whose plea for assistance was heard on our newscast, has had her prayers answered. News Five’s Jose Sanchez found out that the community spirit of a group of students made the difference in the life of Therese Livingston.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Sixteen students of Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute in Ladyville travelled to Hattieville to build a home free of cost for a woman who lost hers in a hurricane.

Rupert Anderson, Assistant Manager, Tubal Trade & Vocational Institute

Rupert Anderson

“Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute is there to help the general public. And so our students after we briefed them were excited—some of them felt victim themselves too and they wanted to come and help with the project. Tubal is a trade and vocational institute in Ladyville as Belize knows. We are changing the way things are done.  We want to align ourselves with the community out there; we want to align ourselves with people who are in need. The students are from Southside of Belize and from Maskall and other surrounding vicinities. We also have B.D.F. soldiers who are at tubal learning to be carpenters and plumbers and masons and mechanics and so on. We are fortunate to have four of our officers also in the construction class that worked on this project.”

The tempest winds of Hurricane Richard blew down many roofs including the trailer home of Therese Livingston.  Seven years of life as she knew it in Hattieville were gone. This is how we first found her three moths ago.

Therese Livingston, Hurricane Victim (File: November 3rd, 2010)

“Nobody is taking on what I suffer, nobody. And I appreciate what you all doing for me because I went everywhere and it’s like I don’t even feel like I’m alive and then it’s so sad that people are capitalizing on other people’s loss. They don’t know what you are feeling inside. They are just taking advantage of the situation and getting things that they don’t even deserve. And people out here need things but oh they are just having fun.”

Tubal has partnered with the Belize Red Cross and The Word at Work to build a home for Livingston.

Kenny logan

Kenny Logan, Construction Manager, The Word at Work

“Our relationship with Tubal started a year ago and we assisted Tubal with some desks and chairs and some tools for the construction trade and starting this school year, I said let’s partner some more and I’ll take your students on our work sites and oru work sites were your work sites.”

Jose Sanchez

“And this particular project?”

Kenny Logan

“This particular project we started it shortly after the hurricane. We came in, clean up the site, lined the building out and planted the post and did the preparation for floor. Unfortunately Tubal was waiting for material and it held us up for a long period of time. And so we literally got back on the project a few weeks ago and the guys done good.”

Jose Sanchez

“Have you met the home owner?”

Evan Hynes

Evan Hynes, Tubal Student

“Yes sir.”

Jose Sanchez

“And how do you feel that you’ve helped her get a roof over her head?”

Evan Hynes

“I feel good.”

Jose Sanchez

“How do you feel to know that you assisted someone, a victim of hurricane to get a roof or a home to live in?

Wilford Tasher, Tubal Student

Wilford Tasher

“I feel good that ih have wah home for herself fi make ih could live and could be proud.”

For the students of Tubal, it wasn’t only a lesson in community spirit; the construction was literally a labor of love.

Evan Hynes

“I learn how to put up wall and put down the flooring and deal with the roof.”

Jose Sanchez

This is the first time you’ve had an experience building a house right?”

Evan Hynes

“Yes Sir.”

Jose Sanchez

“And do you feel confident that you can build something in the future?”

Evan Hynes

“Yes sir.”

Wilford Tasher

“I learned from this construction since I start school on how to use the machine, how the di wall fi separate; the flooring, how to put it up and how to use the measuring tape as well as how to give the measurements for the wall, the floor, the roof and I done know how to nail and thing.”

Jose Sanchez

“So you feel you could construct another home again? This gives you some confidence?”

Wilford Tasher

“Well, Tubal dah wah good training school, so I more advise the youths fi come to Tubal and learn about construction, electrical and the other trade and dah wah good school. They mostly got you ina the work field fi work and learn more ina class but yoh need your papers.”

Therese Livingston

Therese Livingston, Received New Home

“The Tubal students really come through for me because after the hurricane—I lived in a mobile and the home mobile flipped over and it was destroyed. And Mister Bailey, he came out, he volunteered; he came through for me. So I mi di worry this morning but I feel good now.”

Jose Sanchez

“The students themselves feel very happy to have helped you.”

Therese Livingston

“Well I thankful for that. I sorry I neva deh up deh but I neva got the finance fi go up there.”

Jose Sanchez

“You just need to put stuff in the house now?”

Therese Livingston

“Yes, yes cause the house is done.  But you know it need inside furnishing and stuff so.”

Jose Sanchez

“So it’s just you one?”

Therese Livingston

“Yeah I got mi daughter deh, but right now they noh deh di live deh so. But more or less it’s me one and my son. He is not here right but, me one right now. But God is good, he came through.”

The handing over of the keys did not occur since Livingston was unable to pay for the bus passage; however, the proud students gave a last inspection inside the building before returning to class. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

The Belize Red Cross provided materials for the construction and Tubal provided the labor.  Our news crew would have been happy to provide transportation for Livingston to Hattieville if they knew beforehand that she was unable to reach the handing over ceremony of the house key this morning.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “Make Belize proud; students build a house for hurricane victim”

  1. cayobway says:

    It is reports like this yhat still brings tears to my eyes, knowing that amidst all the turmoil that is happening back home there are still folks who cares, many times our people rely on government to help and they leave us on the broken path, but when we help each other out we show the folks in government that we can still function as a people without thier help. keep up the good work TUBAL, and to the students thanks for taking the time to help your reward will be great in the near future.

  2. BZNinCALI says:

    Great work guys. Now I will throw the one stone that I will throw every time I read these stories & see my peeps living down to the stereotype. A couple days ago, we saw Officer Tablada get his new house; at 77 years old, he was willing & able to jump in & help or as we in the rest of the world call it, put in sweat equity. The result was a nice place for a deserving couple. Many of you had unkind things to say about the Mestizo couple who got their free house in Belama but they didn’t whine, they were willing to get calluses & break fingernails for a chance to live in their own house. I am glad to see Miss Livingston get her house but it sounds like a daughter & son will be sharing the place, if they have no jobs, they should have been helping unless they were in school & if they have jobs, paying their mother’s bus fare was the least they could do.

    Just an observation folks, I call it like I see it.

  3. Joako60 says:

    Congratulations to everyone that contributed to make this dream come true!!! Way to go TUBAL students and teachers, keep up the good work!!!

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