Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2022. 9:26 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Leadership Intervention Unit (LIU) on Wednesday handed over items to three community hubs based in Southside Belize City.
The donations benefit the initiatives of three community activists: Justice of the Peace, Olga Gordon, who is the president of her neighbourhood watch Eyes of the Jaguar based on Casuarina Street in the Lake Independence area; Perry ‘Sticks’ Smith of Days of Healing on Vernon Street; and Gordon ‘Timmy” Stamp, who has an after-school program for children on Dean Street.
Gordon told our colleagues at KREM News that “It’s a start, and I must say thanks to [LIU Director William] Dawson a thousand times.” She added that her program was hosted three times per week, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and supported the community through nutritious meals, occasional parties, and school assistance. Gordon notes that she spends up to $500 a week to run the program.
Smith’s famous monthly Days of Healing gatherings held across Belize City communities have evolved into a formal program based at his residence on Vernon Street – at least until Hurricane Lisa struck at the start of November.
“At our yard, everybody knows – you have a bunch of kids that come to my yard, my yard is a safe space zone for the kids. For the past two years, [during] Corona, the limited interaction we had with each other, [and then] damage we sustained [here] at the yard, Hurricane Lisa came and damaged the equipment and resources we had – being a part of this initiative, working alongside my community members, working with LIU, pushing forward to make sure different things happen in the community, these resources will help [us] greatly, tremendously,” added Smith, acknowledging that more assistance is needed to rebuild the facilities at the yard including the greenhouse and facilities for sports and internet access.
“We noh worry bout the past, we worry bout the future now – right now we have a team that works, so our thing is to try and put up 11 more of those evening schools, and get the kids’ work moving – if they will be the leaders of tomorrow, we need to save them now,” Stamp, the founder of Jah Love Evening Program, explained. His program currently caters to 30 children being mentored in reading and math as well as taking trips outside Belize City.
Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa said the LIU recognizes the partnership it has to make with community leaders, many of whom have been longer active than the Government’s initiative.
If you would like to assist with Smith’s program, he can be reached at 638-1550.
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