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Nov 10, 2022

HelpAge Assesses Hurricane Damages to Shut-ins’ Homes

It’s been around for decades, providing help to Belize City’s elderly and immobile citizens, visiting with them and offering them a hot meal each week. Today was no different for HelpAge Belize, a non-government organization headquartered on the same compound as Sister Cecilia’s Home for the Elderly. Today, however, while they went feeding the elderly at their homes, HelpAge also went to assess whatever damages these residents might have suffered due to Hurricane Lisa. News Five’s Marion Ali reports.

 

Marion Ali, Reporting

The weekly delivery of cooked food to Belize City’s neediest elderly or incapacitated happened today as was planned for the folks who run Helpage Belize. But, they went looking for new needs that have arisen because of Hurricane Lisa. Neville Mejia is not an older person, but he falls on the list because he is constrained by a medical condition. The former mechanic now relies on whatever help he can get and he shared his hurricane woes with us.

 

Neville Mejia

Neville Mejia, Helpage Shut-in

“The fences mi get run down and if yoh look up pahn the ceiling, yoh wa see that we have wa lee water damage happen deh. My situation, I nuh have any control over. I have a neuromuscular condition – limb girdle myopathy syndrome.”

 

Marion Ali

“Which is what in layman’s terms?”

 

Neville Mejia

“It’s a mild form of muscular dystrophy, so it affects the limbs deh.”

 

Over on the north side, Glenford Gordon is able to sit up, but also has mobility issues and suffered quite a bit of damages in last week’s hurricane.

 

Glenford Gordon

Glenford Gordon, Helpage Shut-in

“I decide to go to shelter but the weather come and trap me here. The kitchen (roof) blow off, in the hall – room two zinc blow of. The other room I have the zinc wrap up there and ih leak, water wet up mi mattress and things.”

Marion Ali

“So you need some assistance.”

 

Glenford Gordon

“Yes ma’am.”

And that is just what Helpage intends to get for these people. The organization’s Executive Director, Ivorine Bulwer told News Five that they will take the needs to various agencies that lobby for assistance for persons who fall within this category.

 

Ivorine Bulwer

Ivorine Bulwer, Executive Director, Helpage Belize

“Observing this situation we’ll be able to make referrals because if you look around here, help is definitely needed – the bathroom, the stairs, his mattress, he needs clothing, he needs some grocery bags, so we have the opportunity to really observe the damages, the impact of Hurricane Lisa on this already challenging environment.”

 

Marion Ali

“So who do you make those referrals to?”

 

Ivorine Bulwer

“We work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development. We also work closely with the National Council of Aging, there is NEMO, and there are other entities that we work with individuals and international organizations.”

 

Bulwer said that, altogether, they would visit forty persons and assess their needs based on the hurricane damages they endured and look for help for them. Marion Ali for News Five.


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