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Sep 26, 2012

Biscayne Primary School gets a boost from the Chamber of Commerce

It’s the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s birthday, but the teachers and students of the Biscayne Primary School on the Northern Highway had reason to celebrate this morning. Through the efforts of the Chamber and Western Union, the school’s cafeteria has been converted into a more relaxed dining area that is also used as the centre to administer the school’s feeding program. News Five’s Delahnie Bain was present for the happy occasion.

 

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Lunch hour at the Biscayne Primary School will be much more comfortable now that the cafeteria has been renovated by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry through its Western Union arm. Danette Burns, the Western Union Manager, says this is not their first time working with the school, but it marks a special occasion.

 

Danette Burns, Western Union Manager

“Our second project came as part of the chamber’s twentieth anniversary calendar of events where we searched for a meaningful project that would enhance the school spirit and bring something tangible to the Biscayne community. The school cafeteria was the likely choice at the time given that it was in disrepair due to lack of funding.”

 

Danette Burns

Western Union International was quick to support the project, which was also backed by local businesses such as Brothers Habet, Wood Stop, Maheias United, Image Pro and Grace Kennedy.

 

Danette Burns

“With the additional assistance, we were able to achieve far more than we were able to achieve far more than we expected to accomplish. With the combined efforts, we were able to tile the floor, completely install the ceiling, provide picnic tables, install double sink basins as well as provide gifts for the children and teachers and contribute groceries to the kitchen.”

 

Dorla Wade, Principal, Biscayne Primary School

“I was tired this morning after all the work but after I saw everything went in, excited and still happy because I know that the children and the teachers will have somewhere nice to eat. They will feel at home and they can even have a class session in there from out of the classroom.”

 

Delahnie Bain

Dorla Wade

“So can you tell us what kind of condition the cafeteria was in before?”

 

Dorla Wade

“It wasn’t tiled; it was just a plain cement floor. It had screens, but it was all broken up. So now it is tiled and all the sidings, the screens and the wires are put up and we have a door now. We had door before, but it was a half door; now we have a whole door.”

 

The school has an enrollment of about one hundred and forty students and principal, Dorla Wade says many of them depend on the feeding program.

 

Dorla Wade

“We do have a feeding program and we feed about fifty students plus the eight children every day.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“And well now you have this nice building, but I know one of the things that some schools have problems with is the actual resources to maintain the feeding program itself; is that a concern for you all here?”

 

Dorla Wade

“It is a concern but we have been managing through the years and I’m sure we will continue to manage in the coming years.”

 

And Biscayne Primary is expected to have the continued support of the Chamber, as they have for the past five years.

 

Danette Burns

“About five years ago, we realized that the children in rural areas needed an opportunity to compete with the more affluent students. And so the Chamber started an enduring relationship with the Biscayne Primary School. Our first project was the computer room, which consisted of three computers fully equipped with programs that would peak their desire to learn while keeping them interested. This donation was well received by the children as well as by the principal and staff, who were appreciative and enthusiastic to work with us. We were also able to assist them with books for their library.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“And you’re looking forward to continuing this partnership with the Chamber?”

 

Dorla Wade

“Yes, they can’t leave us now, we’ve gone too far.”

 

As a final touch, the school was also gifted a new Belize Flag. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

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