The 2018 Belize Project involves three separate trips. The first trip; Andy Harjula travelled alone, because he had an opportunity to send 1500 pounds of donated clothing and soccer equipment to Belize by piggy-backing onto a Belize bound shipping container sent by Pastor Binda from Mississauga.
The second trip involved five people including Rev. Peter Mills, his wife Trish, John MacFarlane and Maureen Harjula. The group were able to bring 350 pounds of school supplies, soccer equipment and painting supplies with them.
One of their projects was to apply 21 gallons of bright yellow paint to Christ the King Anglican Church and to install a handicap ramp for the church. The concrete ramp replaced the previous sand trap. The best part pf the mission was to sponsor 6 high school students and four college students with full scholarships and to supply 240 fruit trees to local schools, farms and individuals.
Pictured is a typical food delivery for a school lunch program. In the picture is 520 pounds of groceries for the Gulisi Community School. At the time of the delivery the principal was at her wits end because her larder was empty as were her cash resources. For the school children, the delivery was a Godsend.
The Gulisi School is dedicated to keeping the Garifuna culture alive. The Garifuna are descendants of African slaves who were used in the forestry and agricultural industries during the bad old days.
The project also helped the Diaz family. Eduardo, the father of the family was an electrician until he lost both hands and both feet in an industrial electrical accident. He now sells popcorn on the street to support his family of four children and his wife. Pictured are Rev. Peter Mills and Trish with the Diaz family.
In total, the group raised $5700 from an auction and from the generous donations of congregation members of St. John’s Anglican Church in Ida and from the many generous donations by local residents and local community organizations.
All volunteers pay their own way, including travel, accommodations and meals. One hundred percent of funds raised are used for the benefit of Belizeans, especially the youth.
This winter’s mission resulted in the delivery of a grand total of 3,326 pounds of food to four schools, 1,900 pounds of school supplies and household materials. Included in the three trips to Belize were 11 laptops, refurbished and donated by Wayne Blaby of Computer Solutions Plus.
By Andy Harjula