Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Aaon Humes Reporting: As part of the annual Tradewinds regional training exercise visiting Belize since last week, sailors from the Royal Navy River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Severn were giving back to the local community, specifically Liberty Children’s Home in Ladyville.
The Liberty Children’s Home, tucked away in a quiet corner of Ladyville in the Belize District, was founded in 2004 and currently houses 44 children from broken homes aged 0-18, supported by the Department of Human Services.
Today, sailors from the HMS Severn, docked in Belizean waters from 22 to 24 June, 2015, were at the Home painting the kids’ dorm rooms. We spoke to the Home’s director, Agatha Valentine, who says the sailors are filling a need that the Home cannot handle on its own. They are welcomed as part of the relationship between the Home and the British High Commission which has adopted it as a local cause.
The HMS Severn, which is making its first visit to Belize, embarked six Belizean sailors from the National Coast Guard to strengthen operational capability.
Its crew numbers 35 and it has been in the Caribbean for seven months, working north Atlantic patrol tasking to provide security for the UK’s overseas Caribbean territories and conducting counter-narcotics operations in cooperation with regional security agencies. British High Commissioner in Belize Peter Hughes says the sailors look forward to the work as a break from life on the sea.
Tradewinds features participating military personnel from the U.S. Marine Corps, the Royal Navy and several Caribbean countries as well as Colombia, training on such issues as human rights awareness, jungle warfare, military support to law enforcement, marksmanship, riverine training, command and control, maritime training, and dive training, throughout Belize. Part I of Tradewinds took place in St. Kitts and Nevis.
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