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Jul 15, 2020

Lifeline Foundation Issues $130K in Tuition Relief for Thousands of Students

There were happy faces at the Biltmore Plaza today; more than two thousand four hundred children will benefit from tuition relief given to eighteen schools.   The scholarship comes at a critical time since at households across the country the economic situation is grim due to COVID-19.   The initiative is courtesy of the Lifeline Foundation, headed by Kim Simplis Barrow. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody with a report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

We are less than four weeks away from the reopening of schools on August tenth and parents are struggling, given the joblessness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But there is some relief in the form of a tuition scholarship to over two thousand four hundred primary schools students courtesy of the Lifeline Foundation. At the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza today, representatives from eighteen schools were handed a total of one hundred and thirty thousand dollars in tuition monies.


Kim Simplis Barrow

Kim Simplis Barrow, Founder, Lifeline Foundation

“This year we decided that we would help out with tuition relief. We contacted the Ministry of Education and asked what needs they have in terms of students and so they submitted the list of schools that needed the help. If you notice, there are a lot of rural schools. We were able to identify funds of about one hundred and thirty thousand dollars to cover school fees for two thousand four and fifty-two students. Eighteen schools today; sixteen of those schools are getting their tuition completely paid and two schools are getting fifty percent of their tuition paid.”


The Ministry of Education, specifically Chief Education Officer, Doctor Carol Babb along with her senior managers selected the institutions that are benefiting from the tuition relief. Babb says that they were chosen based on remoteness and need.


Carol Babb

Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer

“Many of our parents are going through economic hardship and many of them are unable to pay the registration fee, so when Misses Barrow approached me, I was very grateful and thankful because every child is entitled to quality education. And so lifeline is making it easier for those parents who cannot afford to pay to ensure that their children get an opportunity to develop skills and knowledge that they need to survive in this world. As you know Duane, there will be a new norm in schools. Schools will be expected to provide more hand washing basins, more bathrooms, more toilets, they have to have sanitizers, they have to sanitize classrooms daily; they have to have towels for children; physical distance. It is a lot that is expected from them. And so when an organization, like Lifeline, steps up to the plate, the Ministry of Education is very thankful.”


The initiative is in line with the Lifeline Foundation’s effort to help children who are less fortunate, especially since for many children, the classroom serves as a safe space. One of the directors, Karen Bevans says that of all the initiatives this was one of the most rewarding.


Karen Bevans

Karen Bevans, Director, Lifeline Foundation

“This for me was one of our most satisfying and gratifying contributions because it is impacting so many, approximately two thousand five hundred students and when you think about the wider family circle as well, the amount of families and persons touched by this; it is really significant, it is a rewarding feeling. So I am pleased with this initiative that we did and I hope that others who are in a position to do similar or take similar actions would use this as a stepping stone and follow our lead.”


Kim Simplis Barrow

“For many of us, when they told students to go home to your safe space, we want to believe that. But the truth is that a lot of schools are safe spaces for our children and we need our children to go back into the classrooms in a safe environment. We need to take all the precautions necessary to ensure that our children are safe at school.”


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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