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Jun 17, 2015

Hand in Hand Ministries Builds Home for Lord’s Bank Family

A single father of four of the Lord Bank area, Belize District, is tonight celebrating the comfort of spanking new quarters. Aaron Garbutt and his family are moving from their crammed house into a newly constructed and more spacious house provided to them by the Hand in Hand Ministries. It took only three days for volunteers to build the house as part of the Building for Change Program of the organization. Duane Moody files the following report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Aaron Garbutt and his four children, who are from Lord’s Bank in the Belize District, have not been living in the best condition for years. But tonight, the family is all smiles as they are now the proud owners of a house courtesy of the Hand in Hand Ministries. After years of planning and looking for assistance, this afternoon the keys of the new sixteen by sixteen wooden house was handed over to the family.


Aaron Garbutt

Aaron Garbutt, Homeowner

“I’m very much happy because the situation first when I was living is like we were all clustered up and we didn’t have enough space in the house that we were living. I decided to go to Hand in Hand to see what I can do and at the end of the day I worked and I get a wonderful house and I get some good guys to work with me from the State University and with the ministry and I feel very happy and glad.”


The structure is the two hundred and sixty-third of its kind that has been constructed by the organization under its ‘Building for Change Program, which started back in 2003. It provides deserving families with houses built, free of cost, by a group of volunteers who travel from the U.S. to Belize.


Bernard Panton, Director of Programs & Projects, Hand in Hand Ministries

“He is one of our partners who came and applied for a house and went through the procedure. Took him a little while to get everything together because you have to have certain things in place; have to meet certain criteria. He went through all that and now the day has come that his dream has come through so he is now going to be given a house from Hand in Hand to live in.”


It took the volunteers three days to complete the two-bedroom structure. At a brief handing over ceremony, almost a dozen students from a university in Louisville, Kentucky and their pastor after finishing the house, blessed it and shared in the momentous occasion for the Garbutts. It is something that allows the organization to build the spirit of community participation, says Hand in Hand Director, Bernard Panton.


Bernard Panton

Bernard Panton

“This has been made possible because the Hand in Hand Ministries has its overseas office in Kentucky; that’s the main office. And they came to Belize so many years ago and decided to start this building for change program and so it started from a little project that was in St. Martin’s that parishioners were helping people to repair houses. And Hand in Hand saw it fit to take over that program and enlarging on it. And since 2003, January, we have had first emersion groups coming down to actually build houses. Their involvement is that they raise funds for the material cost of the house and they actually bring a group that comes down and builds the house also.”


Duane Moody

“So labor and everything free?”


Bernard Panton

“Yes and so all our participants have to do is to attend some education sessions that we have; they need to help us to build other houses for people. In other words, we do empowerment programs for them. And so the major idea of the Building for Change Program is building family, but we use the house and the vehicle.”


For Garbutt, his focus is now on getting the remaining household items to turn the house into a home.


Aaron Garbutt

“At the end of the day I will do what I got to do to get my household items. I already have some already, but gonna get the rest of the household items and me and the family are going to be more happy. We have our own space and everything.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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