We have heard about Harvest for Kids, a program under Belize Camping Experience, BCE. The organization hosts children, particularly from Belize City and surrounding areas for a series of summer camps. It has been doing this for over eleven years but as it grows, the organization is in constant need of funding. The Harvest for Kids program, is one way it has been able to generate funds as it saw rice producers like Circle R come together a few years back to donate to their cause. Circle R has the Harvest for Kids stamp on its packaging, an indication that a portion of the cost goes to BCE. Still, the need for finance keeps growing and as luck would have it, they have now received the support of Caribbean Chicken and sugar cane farmers from the Orange Walk District. Dalila Ical has more on this story.
Alexander Perez Director B.C.E.: “We believe that if we are going to change our country it is going to be through our kids. If we can reach our kids that is how we are going to see Belize changing Belize through us. A lot of the focus that goes into the summer camp is to make sure that they know that it is a relationship. It is to build a relationship with them you know because they have a lot of bad influences but for us as young people that we trained from across the country. We trained them how to work with them, how to work with them especially when they are being bullied or if they are a bully and how to work with them and how to be a kid in the midst of some of these tough neighborhoods in our city that are difficult. I mean to grow into and for us, we need to train ourselves so how can we work with them, understand them, to love them and with that comes a lot of activities, sports and games but we have a high emphasis on relationship. If those kids can understand that we love them and that we can be big brothers and big sisters, they know that there is a good influence in their lives right.”
Dalila Ical: “The Belize Camping Experience Director Alexander Perez has been at the lead of negotiations with various business owners to bring them on board for financial support. Rice and corn farmers were the first to help, some years after another business is on board.”
Alexander Perez Director B.C.E.: “Now Carribean Chicken partnered with us and whenever you buy Carribean Chicken pieces for every pound a donation comes to the Belize Camping Experience and we would want to invite everyone to buy that chicken because that is how everyone can be a part of Belize changing Belize by them buying that chicken.”
Dalila Ical: “Donations from the sales will be made on a monthly basis but that is not the end of the good news for the organization. After much lobbying sugar cane farmers are joining in.”
Alexander Perez Director B.C.E.: “It is in spite of how difficult they have it, they came and two months ago a group of farmers came together and said you know the Mennonites have done it and I believe we can do it too because we also see hope in our country through reaching the kids so a farmer donated five acres of sugarcane and I think he has either has fifty or twenty acres. It is not a lot they have and out of that five acres the theme for this harvest is going to be “Machetes for Peace Belize Changing Belize by Reaching the Kids” and what they are dreaming of is to put one hundred machetes in Orange Walk. I believe it it is going to happen at San Jose Village right outside Orange Walk sugar city to bring hope to our country that if they can do it anyone else can do it and it is incredible because I am not a sugarcane farmer so that is how they are being a part of seeing Belize changing Belize right by them doing that harvest.”
Dalila Ical: “The first sugar cane harvest will be done on April 27th.
Alexander Perez Director B.C.E. “This is really a breakthrough for us because if we are going to change Belize. We start by reaching that kids and I believe that is a vision. Our vision is for the whole country and for us to see that this small group of farmers is having it difficult right now in the sugar industry are giving up what they have has spoken volumes. This says that little Belize has a lot of hope, we have a lot of good people and we believe that we have everything that it takes to make Belize a better country for our kids.”
Dalila Ical: “ This year Belize Camping Experience will host eighteen camps with about 1500 children. Dalila Ical Love News.”
Belize Camping Experience will be taking some children on a tour of sugar cane fields in Orange Walk this week, ahead of the harvest date scheduled for April 27.