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Dec 19, 2022

Diasporans Reach Out with $600 K Worth of Grocery Items/Supplies for Hurricane Victims

The most underprivileged of Belizeans will have a better Christmas this year, thanks to Belizeans in the diaspora who collected an impressive shipment of food and other grocery items to share at this time of year. It took a joint effort by the office of Belize’s Ambassador to the Diaspora, Sandhya Budhrani-Murphy, and Build Belize Incorporated, of which she is also the chair. News Five’s Marion Ali was on hand at the Ministry of Human Developments The Hub on Chetumal Street when the supplies and grocery items were being packaged off to be distributed to households in five different constituencies. Here’s that report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

These heaps of canned foods, toiletries, other supplies, and clothing are what Belizeans living in the diaspora packed up and sent back home for their fellow countrymen and women after the passage of Hurricane Lisa. Belize’s Ambassador to the Diaspora, Sandhya Budhrani-Murphy got things started.


Sandhya Budhrani-Murphy

Sandhya Budhrani-Murphy, Belize’s Ambassador to the Diaspora

“Build Belize Inc. reached out to the diaspora when Hurricane Lisa happened, right and we said look, we need to help our people at home. What can we do? It was a huge undertaking and it couldn’t have been done without the support of all the different areas right, from the Diaspora Relations Unit, which is part of the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, and also Build Belize Inc., which is a non-profit organization.”


A significant part of the effort came from Bread of Life Incorporated, of Houston Texas. John Marsden managed the collections from that state as warehouse manager.


John Marsden

John Marsden, Warehouse Manager, Bread of Life Inc.

“It’s very rough to live in Belize, especially during the hurricane season and we want to help the Belize foundations to just give a helping hand as family, you know, whatever we can to support. We build relationships in case something happens like this again we can be on the same page to give probably more supplies and bring more resources to Belize to help the people in need. If you need anything in the future, please let us know and we’ll be happy to give our love and support to my homeland also, Belize.”


Sandra Hall, who is a member of the Build Belize Inc. board, feels that the establishment of the Diaspora Relations Unit under the Ministry of Tourism was a good idea to create ease of logistics and shipping.


Sandra Hall

Sandra Hall, Board Member, Build Belize Inc.

“Way back when, Belizeans in the United States would always try to send things and it was always disorganized and it was frustrating for the people who wanted to donate to not know how am I going to get this into Belize, who is going to take care of it? Who is going to look at customs, filling out forms, and so on, and making sure that the donated items reached the people that they were intended for?  So now it’s properly organized.”


Ministers Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, whose ministry took on the task of packaging the goods, and Henry Charles Usher, of the Public Service, assured that every effort will be made to ensure that the items reach the neediest.


Henry Charles Usher

Henry Charles Usher, Minister of Public Service

“We always start with the most needy. So we know our people in our area. We’ll be giving it out from our office, we’ll be distributing it to the areas and to the persons, the households that need it the most. Last month with the hurricane, a lot of people received a lot of damage. A lot of people lost a lot of their household products so this will definitely come in handy.”


Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Minister of Human Development

“We are in the process now of having our people sort out the stuff, put them in trucks and then to get them out to our people. We will do our best to reach out to the people that we know will make good use of the materials, and just before Christmas, what more can we say but huge thanks.”


Marion Ali 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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