Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » People & Places, Social Issues » Hand in Hand Ministries Celebrates the Big Twenty
Oct 14, 2022

Hand in Hand Ministries Celebrates the Big Twenty

Today, Hand in Hand Ministries celebrated its twentieth anniversary by hosting an open house at its headquarters in Belize City.  Director of Operations Abel Vargas and members of staff at the organization were on hand to give visitors a guided tour of the facility that has done a lot to assist needy families across the country.  It’s a momentous occasion considering the fact that many philanthropic organizations do not live past ten years.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano visited Hand in Hand Ministries earlier and has the following story.


Rashida Bethran, Director, Building for Change Program

“The house is just a vehicle for the self-improvement of our families.  So, for some people, it’s just a four-wall structure, but for other people, mein, it’s magical.  It’s a life-changing event for them.”


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Two decades ago, when Abel Vargas and his team began doing church work in Belize, they did not imagine that Hand in Hand Ministries would have impacted the lives of so many indigent families who have sought their assistance.  Over the years, the faith-based organization has done its share of community outreach.


Abel Vargas, Director of Operations, Hand in Hand Ministries

“We dream big and we pray a lot.  Here in Belize right now, we have our Building for Change Program where we build houses for single mothers, the elderly, people who are diseased, burdened and people who are generally marginalized.  That’s the Building for Change Program, and we’ve built four hundred and sixty-five houses so far and we’ve been in every part of the country, from Corozal to Punta Gorda.”


Best known for its housing program for the poor, Hand in Hand Ministries has been instrumental in helping to situate families by providing them with a roof over their heads.


Rashida Bethran

Rashida Bethran

“At the start of the program, we started with small version houses.  We started with plywood homes, the aim of it was to help the elderly, the parishioners, to have somewhere stable as they age, you know.  We wanted to make sure that they have a place where they can call home as they live out the rest of their lives.  So we started with these small, eight-by-eight structures and then we further progressed.  As you can see here, we have a small little version of our houses, we then improved to a sixteen-by-sixteen home.  That house was just a shell and it came with one partition down the middle.  We realized that because of the demographics and the people we serve, things change, their needs are changing and so we decided that we’re going to add on a three-by-eight addition so that it could accommodate a bathroom.”


Beyond the building of homes, scholarships have also been awarded to secondary school students in need of financial assistance to complete their education.


Abel Vargas

Abel Vargas

“We also have a scholarship program where we have twenty-one children in high school.  It had started off with a hybrid program where we had junior college and high school, but we have now narrowed it down to high school and we’ve had that scholarship program now for the better part of about fourteen years.  From that scholarship program, we have right now in Belize, engineers, we have several nurses, several social workers, policemen, B.D.F., lawyers who have graduated from our scholarship program.  Apart from that we have started eight cafeterias in different schools in the country.”


At twenty years old, there’s a lot for Hand in Hand to be proud of, including its outreach program.


Abel Vargas

“Since it started some fifteen, sixteen years ago, we are the only organization in the country that deals primarily with HIV infected children.  So  much so that any HIV infected children that surface in the country are referred to us and we provide them with a holistic care and support package which comprises of about twenty-five different services that we give the child, from taking the blood, centrifuging the blood, lab test, post and pre counseling, monitoring, ARV administration, ARV monitoring, everything we do with the child.  So that are the three programs that we have right now and we are very proud that so far they have been successful.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed