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Oct 6, 2011

House donated to foster mom of 3

A Dangriga woman is the proud owner of a new home in that municipality. She was selected from a list of needy but deserving hopefuls to be the recipient of a house done through the partnership of the Belize Bank and Hand in Hand Ministries. The initiative is aimed at providing a family with the opportunity to own their own home. The Belize Bank Limited provided the capital and labor for the home, while the organization through its Building for Change Program provided the technical expertise.  News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Forty-six year old Charlotte Palacio was gifted a brand new home through the collaborative efforts of the Belize Bank and Hand in Hand Ministries. Palacio and her three foster children were identified as deserving recipients of this donation.

Michelle Guzman

Michelle Guzman, Manager, Belize Bank, Dangriga Branch

“We looked around in the community and identified a family that needed a home and after we went through our selection process, we identified one of our own customer Ms. Charlotte Palacio and after choosing her she was referred to the Hand in Hand Ministry who qualified her immediately and we started this project with our staff.”

Quentin Jang

Quentin Jang, Senior Loans Officer

“We see the family as deserving not just because of the need factor but they are trying people who have been I guess trying to make a way of living on their own and basically in providing this home we are providing them with encouragement in terms of in that light nuh. So it will help them to see that there are organizations out there like the Belize Bank and Hand in Hand who are looking out for people like themselves who are trying to survive in a rough environment such as this right now.”

Charlotte Palacio’s life-story is one with many twists and turns, and it is the struggle for a better life that helped her to qualify her for the Building for Change Program.

Charlotte Palacio, House Recipient

Charlotte Palacio

“I struggle hard for life. I work hard. I work dah town board, clean the street, rake the street and suh that’s my life and ih really hard.”

Andrea Polanco

“Really hard? In terms of when you’re saying it’s hard, tell me a little about it?”

Charlotte Palacio

“Cause yuh have to work hard fi wah lee bit ah money.”

Andrea Polanco

“And I know you’re also raising three children for your sister. Tell me what’s that like for you?”

Charlotte Palacio

“Well ih kinda hard but dah something weh I mi done used to because I help raise mi lee sista and bredda deh and now I help one raise her kids.”

Andrea Polanco

“I know you lost your sister under a very unfortunate circumstance. So talk to me about that?”

Charlotte Palacio

“Well she hang ih self now like wah year and change nuh. Suh the kids deh stay with me.”

Andrea Polanco

“Suh ever since you’ve been taking care of the children, you have to provide for their needs basically?”

Charlotte Palacio

“For their needs, yes ma’am.”

Andrea Polanco

“Tell me what is that like though because I know you have- their in school and one of them isn’t faring well.”

Charlotte Palacio

“One disable one she blind and she cripple, yuh have to do everything fi she. Suh when school time when I come from work I have to get ah ready and ker ah dah school. Ih kinda hard but I di try cope, ah di try si.”

Bernard Panton Sr.

The house, a basic sixteen by sixteen structure, is now a home that was built from the manual labor of Hand in Hand Ministries and the staff of Belize Bank’s Dangriga Branch.

Bernard Panton Sr., Director of Building for Change Program

“The group has started working on Friday we had three members come in and assist Beto and Alfonso to do the foundation, which is a cement foundation with three block heights and they also built a deck which is the size of the house and then that was completed a very strong house.”

Rosalva Kotch, Branch Administrator Officer

Rosalva Kotch

“It’s the first time for us at Dangriga Branch to be involved in a project like this and I think it’s very fulfilling for all of us. We coordinated two sets of group, one that will work Saturday and Sunday. Everybody came out here to really put in a pound so I guess everybody’s very happy about it.”

Andrea Polanco

“Okay, so you’re giving manual labour. Tell us what exactly does this entails?”

Rosalva Kotch

“Yes, it entails cutting the lumber, painting, from yesterday we had three of our staff to come out here to mix the cement so we’re doing manual labour. We’re sawing, we’re hammering the nails, the girls are yuh know, everybody is working now.”

For Palacio, the home couldn’t come at a better time. She says the new structure will bring the family together and provide much needed shelter and security.

Charlotte Palacio

“One live eena ih ma house and I live cross deh suh, the disable one live cross deh and mi sister most of the time have two ah deh because cause dah four kids of hers.”

Andrea Polanco

“But you would like to see the family living under one roof?”

Charlotte Palacio

“Under one roof ih dah betta cause then I think ih dah be much easier.”

Andrea Polanco

“So when you got the news that you’re being awarded a brand new home, what was that like?”

Charlotte Palacio

“I neva know weh fi do if I mi fi run away and mek wah lotta noise but then I try control and up to now nuh even mi neighbors I nuh tell deh. Deh only si work di happen but I still feel excited and I thank the good Lord. Ih wah be wah whole change because then my house does leak when ih rain ih have wah big hole eena di kitchen part, over the bed, but I use to try cork it up and suh but now I wah deh eena wah good house. I nuh wah have to worry that when breeze come ih wah shish it weh from mi.”

The proud homeowner will attend a number of educational sessions through the Building for Change Program. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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2 Responses for “House donated to foster mom of 3”

  1. ProudBelizean says:

    This is a wonderful story….really touching. We must acknowledge the great effort from Belize Bank and Building for Change. Also the lady, new home owner who earned this through hard work and struggling to keep herself and nephews/nieces afloat. BRAVO!!!

  2. Victor says:

    Thanks God there are still angels living in our midst! Blessings to the family that recieved thier new home and to those that assisted in this great venture.

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