Saint Ignatius primary school in Belize City was gifted with a two hundred-thousand-dollar park structure and bicycles today. The Rotary Club of Belize City and the Rotary Club of Edmonton in Canada collaborated to bring the initiative to life. The park was gifted through the Rotary park project. Since 2014 the Rotary park project has instituted ten park structures in Southside Belize City. Love News spoke to one of the representatives from the Rotary Club of Edmonton and he explained the lengthy process they went through to complete the project.
Rod Karius, Rotary Club of Edmonton: “We have a partnership with an organization called the Emanuel Foundation in Canada and what they do is they salvage playgrounds from communities and schools when it’s determined that a playground no longer meets the local needs but the equipment is metal and plastic and still has a use to it so it’s salvaged and it’s re purposed. We put it in shipping containers, we include hospital supplies and school supplies and bicycles and sports equipment so we’ll fill a shipping container up completely as much as we can with more than just the playground and that’s all shipped here to Belize City and then we work with the local Belize Club and with lots of support from Francis Woods and his construction company Cisco Construction and the equipment is moved over in this case to this school St.Ignatius and then we work on it for up to a week to put it all together. Well the park project here involves the equipment that you see behind us so all of that was shipped in from Canada. There was some preparation work done on the site here, there was bedding material, gravel, that was hauled in and we moved it onto the site to provide a safe landing zone for the children, we painted all the equipment and now it’s ready for the students to use.”
The principal of the school conveyed to Love News that the park structure will condition the children in a holistic manner.
Loreen Ciego, Principal, St.Ignatius Primary School: “Oh my goodness, there are so many that I’m hoping for. I’m looking at the fact that our children will learn to socialize, to make friends, you know to come to this area and truly enjoy the play area, showing respect a key value and virtue that we need to instill in our children – respect by showing their ability to take turns to use the park to build their skills. We heard Dr.Bob allude earlier this morning to obesity and we do have that here too and you know that’s something that we need to address and the park will definitely help our children to stay fit, they can exercise the different muscles as they get on the swings and on the slides and so we are truly hopeful and we know that it will have a tremendous impact on our students here at St.Ignatius school. I just want to say to our parents to please work along with us, we’ll be sending home a pledge in regard to how the park should be used and we want you to be an integral part in signing the pledge so that the children can play safely on the playground and you can help us too, those of you who come and drop off your kids you can be a park watch person for us and help us even in the maintenance and please come on board to help us to paint the school. We see the Rotarians giving so much and so we ask of you to give a little as well.”
The handing over took place just after ten o’clock today and there were various presentations by Rotarians and the students.