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Sep 17, 2013

Lifeline Foundation assists 6 schools in Orange Walk District

The Lifeline Foundation is an organization which focuses on helping children in Belize through fundraising for worthy and beneficial projects. Earlier this year the organization raised funds which were used to assist six schools in the Orange Walk district. Today representatives from Lifeline visited those schools to witness firsthand the fruits of their labors. Mike Rudon caught up with the group at the Carmelita Government School and has the story of a helping hand offered when and where it is needed the most.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

The Lifeline Foundation has been a godsend for the Carmelita Government School. The institution has an enrollment of four hundred students and is bursting at the seams. So when the cry for help went out, it was easy for the foundation to see the pressing need and to act on it.


Keith Augustine, Principal, Carmelita Government School

“Presently we have over four hundred kids, and it’s growing. And I had to be rejecting a lot of kids due to the fact that we don’t have space at school.”


Kim Simplis Barrow

Kim Simplis Barrow, Director, Lifeline Foundation

“These schools are schools that are really far, far out of the way. They’re in the rural area of Orange Walk. And so for us it was significant to help these schools because these are the forgotten ones, these are the ones that hardly get the attention and hardly get the attention and hardly get the notice that they so need. This school in particular which is Carmelita where we’re at right now is a growing school in a growing community. So when we came earlier this year we did an assessment of all of these schools to see what really the needs are. They gave us a wish list but we wanted to come and see for ourselves what it was like and we saw the need for additional classrooms and therefore we made an investment of over seventy thousand dollars here at this school by building this additional building and by donating ten computers to the school.”


Keith Augustine

“We really appreciate the computers because we already made space for a computer lab. We were preparing to go out and beg so this is a godsend  what happened here because we got ten computers so the children can have computer classes and do the necessary research to improve their academic performance.”


Keith Augustine

With so many schools across the country crying out for help, the selection of those who will receive assistance is never an easy task.


Kim Simplis Barrow

“The six schools were chosen through the Ministry of Education. We normally would ask their recommendation which schools are the most needy schools in Orange Walk and what they do is give us a huge list of schools. All schools are needy schools, so it’s really difficult. We go based on that and then we do our own assessments and then we make a final decision on which schools…again it’s not an easy decision, it’s a very difficult decision because each school has different needs and different wants.”


This year, schools in San Carlos, Fireburn, Indian Church, San Pablo, Carmelita and Orange Walk Town were fortunate to make the list – which is based not only on educational needs, but on a health and wellness component.


Kim Simplis Barrow

“We went to one school which was Fireburn School, and they needed a library. They needed a library and they are very into encouraging their students to read. So it was really good to go back and see the students in the classroom reading and enjoying their new space. Then you had the other school that we went to where their need was proper toilet facilities, and their septic tank was posing a health hazard, so we had to build an entire new septic tank along with their bathroom facilities.”


Little by little, district by district, the Foundation is making a big difference where it counts the most.


Kim Simplis Barrow

“We do two fundraisers for the year, and out of those two fundraisers we try to help children all over Belize. We’ve done works in Toledo, we’ve done works in Cayo and now we’re in Orange Walk. Before we did those works we have helped children living with AIDS and their families, we have helped other organizations through their efforts. We really wanted to focus on schools and focus on kids who are already in school, really with the objective of promoting education and encouraging our children to stay in school.”


There’s no decision on which district will be the focus next, but according to Lifeline’s Director Kim Barrow, there are already requests coming in from Dangriga. Mike Rudon for News Five.


The works in all six schools today are valued at just over two hundred thousand dollars.

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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