By: Portlight, 3:57 PM GMT on August 31, 2010
We are keeping an eye on 96L and whatever response may be needed in Florida and/or the (gulp) Carolina coast.
We have been made aware of the potential to help in Belize if the aftermath of Matthew warrants it. Will keep you posted.
From WU blogger Squid 28
I know you are watching the progress of Matthew, as are many others. In the event that Portlight would like to do a relief effort in Belize if warranted, I have a communtiy that I would like to suggest that is a prime candidate for a relief effort. I work with a school that is educating 532 children (K-8th) that otherwise would not be going to school. Belize is a pay to attend system and these kids families cannot afford it. The school is in a community called San Mateo, which are basically the slums of Ambergris Caye. The community is built in a tidal swamp as best as I can describe. The residents have to walk on 2"x10" planks on pilings to get to their homes. They have no running water, sewer or electricity (much less dry land). These truly are the forgotten and underserved in this particular area. The residents are a very proud group, they are currently trying to build their first road, by hand every Sunday a group of men meet and place stones and then cover them with sand. They have completed around 450 feet now, after working on it for around six months.
I work in the states to help the school stay functional, I help to source a variety of items which are difficult to procure inside Belize. The school is the first place many community memebers turn for help, since they are one of the few places who will. You see every situation imaginable from parents needing medicine for a sick child to dental care to needing food. The community is very involved with the school, and almost always pays the school back in some way through community support and involvement. Whether it is helping to build a new classroom, keeping an eye out for burglars, making sure that no kid becomes a truant etc. I really wish things worked like this in the states sometimes.
Point being, we are already an established distribution point of sorts in one of the poorest communities in Belize. Even if San Mateo itself is spared by the storm coming in more to the south, we are associated with several other relief agencies and groups throughout the country. We as a group are very familiar with customs, logistics, and have a real familiarity as to how things "work" inside the country.
Belize has a very special place in my heart, and I hope that there is no need for Portlights services anywhere in Belize. I have a gut feeling though, that they will be needed by someone in C.A. before all is said and done.
Keep up the good work Portlight.....
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Updated: 4:23 PM GMT on September 28, 2010