Lending Helping Hands In The Heart Of Belize
In Belize last week, a friend in the country took Lief to visit an orphanage near the capital, Belmopan, one afternoon.
“I was really impressed,” Lief told me on the phone that night, “and, frankly, surprised.
“I don’t know what I was expecting…I guess something more primitive…more heart-wrenching. But this was a new, clean building. It’s on the Western Highway on a piece of donated land. The structure was just recently completed, built with money ($1.2 million) donated by a dot-com millionaire. So they have new digs, but they are still settling in. The staff was all great, but they need so many things.
“The facility can hold up to 80 kids and has 76 right now. Many of the kids come from homes where they were abused by relatives. Some have lost their parents. A few are available for adoption.”
Our friend who took Lief to see King’s Children’s Home, as it’s called, has been helping the group out. Crew from his development project nearby has built a playground, and now they’re creating aero-ponic and hydro-ponic growing systems. They’re going to train the older kids on farming techniques so the children can grow food for the orphanage and also to give them skills they can hopefully use to get jobs when they leave and go off on their own.
The orphanage has 40 acres to work with, which our friends think is enough, once the systems are in place and fully operational, to make the facility self-sufficient for food. The monthly operating expenses are $18,000, and the group receives no financial support from the government or any organized charity. The facility is run by volunteers. All donations go toward food, clothing, and medical care for the kids. Making the place food-independent will mean a lot more money for other things, including education.
Lief was so impressed with what’s going on here that I thought I’d share it with you in case you have any interest in becoming involved.
The orphanage has a website, here, with information on volunteering and making a donation.