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Sep 28, 2023

Fifteen Women Empowered to Market Their Own Preserved Foods

Two weeks ago, News Five was present for the launch of the CRASH program at Hand in Hands Ministries. It stands for: Capacity Roadmap: A Sustainable Hope and its objective is to empower women to become self-reliant through specific courses and programs. Over the last two weeks, fifteen women who had previously received homes from Hand in Hand Ministries enrolled in a food preservation course and today they received certificates of completion. As News Five’s Marion Ali found out, the course taught the women more than the technical insights, but also lessons in budgeting, marketing, packaging and labeling their products.


Marion Ali, Reporting

Fifteen women who are part of Hand in Hand Ministries’ development program today received certificates after they completed a two-week course on fruit, beans and meat preservation. Linda Mangar, who was one of the women, shared with News Five what the course entailed.


Linda Mangar

Linda Mangar, Completes Course on food preservation

“The first week, yes. I learned, you know, how to preserve food. That’s very important, to preserve the food, you know, the two processes of preserving the food.”


Marion Ali

“Two processes, what are they?”


Linda Mangar

“Well, we have the water bath and the pressure canning. Water bath is the one we use for, you know, preserving fruits and vegetables, you know, because it needed a pressure blower for this. Yes, and the pressure canning where we do the meats and beans.”


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was an integral part in finding a sponsor for the program. Alexya Perez is the ministry’s project officer. She found comfort in the likelihood that working families can purchase these quick and easy alternatives to preparing healthy snacks and meals.

Alexya Perez

Alexya Perez, Project Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
“It saves us a lot of time because we are in a working world where people have limited time and it keeps the economy going.”


Marion Ali

“And it offers the convenience.”

Alexya Perez

“And the convenience, yes, with our busy schedules, I’m sure we don’t have – some of us don’t have three hours to sit to let the beans cook.”


And if you were concerned about the way these food items are preserved, Maggie Vargas, who is the Development Director at Hand in Hand Ministries, says these products are much healthier than most preserved foods on the shelves.


Maggie Vargas

Maggie Vargas, Development Director, Hand in Hand Ministries

“The only thing – other than the process that is taken to do this preserves – is vinegar. This is one of the items that help to preserve those goods.”


Marion Ali

“Health conscious people are concerned about the preservatives in those canned goods on the shelves. How much healthier or safer are these ones?”


Maggie Vargas

“Marion, honestly, I can tell you that these are very safe and they are very healthy. Nothing in there has much preservatives other than vinegar, you know. Everything else is fresh: fresh meat, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables. It’s only the process that makes it healthier.”


Meanwhile, Taiwan Embassy’s Third Secretary, Irene Wu said they will be looking for other avenues where they can assist Belize.

Irene Wu

Irene Wu, Third Secretary, Taiwan Embassy
“When each technical cooperation project is complete we will have – we will look into potential new areas or continue in similar areas and open a new project.”


Now, with the training and knowledge the women received also in packaging, marketing, budgeting labeling their products, they will try to acquire the necessary equipment in order to market their own preserved foods. 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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