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Aug 23, 2013

Sister Cecilia Home receives diamond treatment from Diamonds International

Residents of Sister Cecilia Home for the elderly were treated to a hearty meal this afternoon through an act of charity by one Belize City company.  It was an experience that employees of Diamonds International won’t soon forget, as they took advantage of an opportunity to meet and assist the aging men and women.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano was on hand and has the following story.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Community service, as a means of social outreach, is, for most companies, not a job requirement.  But, for the staff of Diamonds International, an estimated eighty men and women, maintaining a presence in the Belizean society is an integral part of what they do outside of their working hours.  Today, they visited Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly, where they each provided a group of senior citizens with lunch, as well as a small token.  It is their humble way of giving back.


Yolanda Magana

Yolanda Magana, Chief Finance Officer, Diamonds International

“Today in particular we have decided to come to Sister Cecilia’s Home to participate with the elderly in our community.”


Isani Cayetano

“What has the experience been like for you, being able to give back to the community, as well as to be able to interact with these elderly citizens?”


Yolanda Magana

“It’s been amazing.  It’s been an eye-opener for me in particular, I didn’t realize we have so many elderly people in our community and from the feedback that I’ve gotten from the few people I’ve spoken with so far, they are very appreciative that you take the time out and spend some time with them, talk to them, be with them and eat with them.  They are very, very happy for that.”


Darlene Graham

And while there was an overwhelming feeling of appreciation, understanding the importance of altruism is something that Darlene Graham tries to instill in her employees daily.


Darlene Graham, Human Resources Manager, Diamonds International

“When we introduced the field of community service to our staff we explained to them that by giving back we get a blessing, you understand.  And not only that but one of these days we might need some help ourselves.  So, the way we explain it to them, we let them understand that community service is very rewarding.  We have done many projects before.  We have worked with Children’s Home, we did the homeless on the streets, we went out there and fed them and when we took up this task we called, we asked for the director of the shelter and we found out exactly what type of food we can bring for them, you know, depending on their age group, what they’re ailing from and stuff like that.  So we provided the food compared to what they told us, like soft food, chicken and stuff like that, but they are very appreciative.”


According to General Manager Resha Khiani, Diamonds International has been working closely with the Belize City Council not only to help with the beautification of the Old Capital but to also with its ongoing back to school drive.


Reshma Khiani

Reshma Khiani, General Manager, Diamonds International

“We’re working hand in hand with the city council so a lot of times they contact us.  We were last week with the summer camp trying to help them over there with schoolbags.  Before that, on Labor Day we painted the Swing Bridge.  We’ve also been helping the Cancer Society, we make sure that we actually have a little stall with their products that we sell for them in the Tourist Village for all the tourists that come on the cruise ships.”


Isani Cayetano

“What is the feeling of that sense of corporate citizenship [like], in terms of giving back and being an active member of the Belizean society?”


Reshma Khiani

“It’s an amazing feeling.  We’ve been here for almost a decade now, Diamonds International.  So it’s a very, very good feeling doing this with the community.”


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.

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