Over two hundred families on Ambergris Caye will be receiving assistance by way of food items through an initiative dubbed, ‘Food for San Pedro’. Leading the charge is Attorney-at-law Audrey Matura and several other Belizeans who collaborated with her. Ambergris Caye was placed on a mandatory lockdown on August 6 for two weeks and has been extended for another two weeks upon its expiration tomorrow. Persons on the island have been clamoring for basic supplies they are lacking. Love News spoke with Matura on this initiative.
Audrey Matura, Attorney: “I chose San Pedro because they were the first to go on lock down, they’re an isolated place in the sense that it’s an island and the last time the crisis was serious for them and seeing the amount of cases coming out of San Pedro their lock down I imagine would be longer than any other place. So it’s just that, I thought that they needed the extra help. For the past five months San Pedro has really been taking a hit. We know that most of their economy is based on tourism, the short time that it was open the local people patronized them and there was a little bit of comeback but imagine now nothing of that. People have told me that they’ve used up all their savings. It’s desperate. I can’t solve everything but think at least food people should get because I’m told that many people they’re being evicted, many people can’t pay their mortgages and loans and basic bills and I was hoping that apart from doing this initiative that the government would pass a legislation specifically to help people whose mortgages are in default and there could be foreclosure. I’m hoping that that lobby would go far because the same way they passed legislation for all sorts of things overnight I think they need to pass a legislation where banks cannot be committing usury against people. Right now some banks have given people are reprieve for three months sometimes six months but then that interest is stacked on to your principal so now you’re paying interest upon what you owed the new amount that you can’t pay as interest itself and so you’re paying more. And so imagine five months without being able to pay that, this dilemma will not leave right now.”
Matura is certainly putting her money where her mouth is as she has reported that for every dollar donated she will match it from the proceeds of her law firm.
Audrey Matura, Attorney: “What I do for every dollar that someone donates I match it with money from my law firm. So up to this point I’ve gotten donation of $1250 so that means that today I had to spend $2,500 that’s on items alone. I just went and I had a list and I bought it and I’m breaking it down to see how I’ll distribute it to whom and the donations have been from $50 up to $200 but I just got a message from a gentleman who said he transferred $300 that’s the biggest amount but the thing is the people who have been giving are small people even a person who works as a clerk at the store gave me money today because I was short by $40 to pay off that bill. I still need money to pay the barge that will take the items, I still need money to buy the bags that we bag off the stuff and I’m hoping that at least every week we could send items. You know if we adopt, well based on what I’m calculating we,should be able to assist 200 families and the items were sending are: rice, beans, flour, sugar, cooking oil, Ramen noodles which are in shortage and chicken sausage; that’s the basic,I mean it’s a start. We can’t do everything but it’s a start, it’s the basic that we have. We’ve had one lady she just sent a box of groceries with a variety of items but I really prefer that we could buy things wholesale and we sent it and then the people there who receive it packages up and identifies the people.”
If anyone would like to assist the cause they can send deposits to Matura&Co Scotia Bank account or reach her through her law firm.