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Aug 24, 2006

Visiting scouts lend a hand in Valley of Peace

Story PictureTheir motto is “Be Prepared” and some visiting scouts from North America came well equipped to lend a helping hand. News Five’s Janelle Chanona reports from the Cayo District.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
For the past three weeks, twenty-four members of the Tri-shores Scout Group in Ontario Canada have been learning to cut metal pipes … spread cement … and power saw lumber … as part of a volunteer project to help construct a new community centre in Valley of Peace.

According to scout leader Myles Vanni, fundraisers in western Canada came up with some thirty-eight thousand dollars … monies that have paid for flights, food and construction materials.

Myles Vanni, Scout Team Leader
?It took us a year to plan for it, and I think people sometimes didn?t feel that we?d actually be here. But when we stepped off the plane and got into the village and saw that the building had already started, because we?re working very closely with the people in the village. And they have labour here, people are here everyday to help us. They?d actually started before we got here so we?re very happy to see it coming from fruition.?

The community centre will double as a hurricane shelter but local scout officials say the structure will be the catalyst for a recruitment drive in the area.

Orlando Garcia, Field Executive, Scout Association of Belize
?The building is a multi-purpose building. Of course the scouts that will be established here will have the privilege of using the building as well for various functions that entails with scouting.?

Established in 1985 as a safe haven for Central American refugees trying to escape civil war, today more than five thousand men, women and children call Valley of Peace home. For years, this dilapidated wooden building had served as the community?s only meeting point.

Chairlady Maria Consuelo Abelar says the residents? dedication to improving the village infrastructure has been inspiring.

Maria Consuelo Abelar, Chairlady, Valley of Peace
?I feel that Valley of Peace has a good vision and this village, this community is very active, they want to work and I think this is not the first project that we are going to do. We are builders, because my vision is that after building this, we are going to build a clinic.?

The visitors will leave Belize later this week but the experience has broadened their personalities … and their palates.

Myles Vanni
?We are staying with one family, and they?ve fed us so well and people are very helpful for us when we?re here.?

Janelle Chanona
?So what?s your favourite Belizean food??

Myles Vanni
?Rice and beans, always with chicken.?

Reporting for News Five, I am Janelle Chanona.

The official dedication ceremony for the community centre was held this afternoon. The building was designed by Lloyd Carrillo of Architectural Constructions Limited. The money raised by the Canadian scouts is being managed by the Scout Association of Belize.


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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