Saturday, October 30, 2010

PLEASE HELP THE HELPLESS VICTIMS OF HURRICANE RICHARD: By WENDY AUXILLOU




Dear Friends:

I know I probably do not keep in touch as often as I should, but this is one time I desperately need your help.

Many of the poorest people in Belize City who can least afford it had their lives totally disrupted by Hurricane Richard.  Today, almost a week after Hurricane Richard passed over Belize, there are still many destitute people with nowhere to live, nothing to eat, nowhere to sleep, nothing to wear, nothing to drink ... NOTHING, PERIOD!   The worst victims of the hurricane are the children.  Yes, children today are sleeping outside in makeshift tents placed on ground cover of mud.  In a KREM TV special they filmed after the storm, they recorded the pleas for assistance of some of the hardest hit victims.  Friends, this situation could at any time happen to any of us our loved ones.  It is truly horrifying to those affected by the storm, but more so to the many innocent children who have to suffer.  Attached is a video filmed by KREM TV entitled "What do you need right now?"  Please take a moment to look at it.

Unfortunately, the official disaster response has been less than stellar.  To pick up the slack where the government has failed, a private initiative spearheaded by Indira Craig, television newscaster from Channel 7 news, has set up camp in the area and is serving hot meals to the affected residents.  Most of these people have NOTHING, not a stove to cook on or a small space to store supplies or groceries.  They are in desperate need of assistance.  For most of them, their entire survival depends on the availability of the meal that Indira and her wonderful group of volunteers are serving them.  I will stress again that this is a private initiative, hence no government funding.  It is all coming together as a result of private donations.  The soup kitchen is currently feeding upwards of 800 people per day.

There is no telling how long it will be before the situation of these victims improves, and the situation is truly heartbreaking and sad.  To that end, I have set up a connection with Glenn Tilllett, a trusted talk show host at Positive Vibes radio.  Indira and her crew are always on site serving meals, and she has no time to be running sundry errands.  To that end, Glenn Tillett has agreed to pick up donations on behalf of Indira's group.  Friends, let us give generously to this endeavor.  I will state again, at any time, this could be our situation.  How would YOU like to be treated?

Please donate generously to the relief cause.  I have made a quick check with Western Union (the fastest way we can deduce to make our donations count RIGHT AWAY) and they charge $15 to WU up to $100, $22 to WU up to $200, and $39 to WU up to $400.  So, if several of you each have $20 that you would like to donate, for example, pool the sum of money together into one wire transfer and pay only ONE $15 fee for the entire lot (versus $15 for each $20 transfer).

In any case, Glenn Tillett has generously volunteered his time to pick up any donations from WU and to transport them over to Indira Craig and her group.  In order for him to be able to do this, you would have to WU the money in his name (GLENN TILLETT, 1607 MANTA RAY DRIVE, LADYVILLE, BELIZE DISTRICT, BELIZE, CENTRAL AMERICA).  Again, this is just the FASTEST way to get donation money to the cause.  Glenn will pick up the money, hand it to Indira, and Indira will later confirm the donation once she is able.  This is for transparency.  Glenn's email is glenntillett@yahoo.com.  His phone number is 605-6618.  Please text him your name (senders name) and the MTCN number once you send a donation so he knows what to expect, OR you can send him an email with the information. Friends, no matter how small big or small the amount, please send something.  These are our Belizean brothers and sisters that are suffering.


PLEASE ALSO FORWARD THIS TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS.  MORE THAN EVER, BELIZE NEEDS YOU NOW!

Sincerely,
Wendy Auxillou

Thursday, October 28, 2010

DISASTER RELIEF FOR VICTIMS OF HURRICANE RICHARD IN BELIZE: VIDEO OF YABRA BELOW

Embassy of Belize
in the United States of America

Permanent Mission of Belize to
the Organization of American States

High Commission for Belize to Canada                                                                October 26, 2010

Message to the Belizean Community in the United States regarding 
the passage of Hurricane Richard over Belize on October 24, 2010

My Dear Belizeans in the United States of America:

As you may be aware, Hurricane Richard, a Category One Hurricane, passed over Belize on Sunday, October 24, 2010 affecting a very large area in the central part of our country. The Prime Minister of Belize, the Honorable Dean Barrow, and the Honorable Melvin Hulse, Minister responsible for the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), informed on October 25, 2010, that Hurricane Richard resulted in extensive material damages, with preliminary estimates amounting to over thirty three million Belize dollars in lost housing, infrastructure and damage to the citrus industry.

A more comprehensive assessment of the damages to our country is under way, and while we await those results, we have been advised that the most immediate need is in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of housing for our fellow Belizeans that lost homes and properties. According to news reports, over two hundred homes were destroyed or extensively damaged, and the Government of Belize has emphasized its commitment to assist these Belizeans to rebuild their homes and to get back to a state of normalcy.

I wish to thank those Belizean individuals and representatives of Belizeans organizations that have called to express their concern and their willingness to assist our Belizeans at home in this hour of need. In this context, we have been advised that Belizeans in the Diaspora that wish to assist can best do so by monetary donations that will be used by NEMO to assist those Belizeans in need. In order to facilitate any donations, the Embassy of Belize has opened a small account with the HSCB Bank, and donations can be made via check made out to Embassy of Belize-Hurricane relief and mailed to:

Embassy of Belize
2535 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC, 20008

We will keep you informed on the full damage assessment and to the efforts to rebuild after this natural catastrophe. Thank you all for your assistance and for your persevering interest in our beautiful country.

Nestor Mendez
Ambassador of Belize in the United States

2535 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20008 
Tel. (202) 332-9636. Fax: (202) 332-6888

Village View Post is encouraging all Belizeans abroad to donate whatever you can afford to help the families affected by Hurricane Richard, especially in Yabra and Hatteville areas.




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

FUND RAISER FOR HOSPICE CARE IN BELIZE: A GLOBAL AWAKENING

On October 17, 2010, Raquel Battle took part in the International Long Beach Marathon. Her participation in the run was to raise funds for the Edlin Leslie Hospice and Home Care Center in Dangriga, Belize. I am happy to report that she has completed the entire 26.2 miles in 5:32:25. Congratulations to Raquel for her efforts in raising funds for hospice care in Dangriga, Belize.

 If you are or will be in the Los Angeles areas please come out and support a fund raiser for the Hospice Center in Dangriga, Belize. The generosity of your support will allow us to open the center by June 2011.

Hospice care in Belize aims to improve the lives of Belizeans and the most vulnerable people facing end of life by giving compassionate care and support. The highest value will be placed on taking care of their emotional, spiritual and social needs with respect and dignity to the end of their lives.

Services offered will be patient focused medical and nursing care, pain control, therapies, spiritual support, practical financial advice, and bereavement care.

All funds raised will go to help the most vulnerable people; those facing the end of life will be given compassionate care and support.

The National Edlin Leslie Sr. Hospice and Home Care needs to raise US$50,000.00 by June 1, 2011. Thank you for choosing to help bring hospice care to Belize.

Find out more by visiting our Website: www.blissfulsage.org

Monday, October 25, 2010

VIEW FROM BELIZE CITY: AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE RICHARD


Thank you every one for your e-mails, calls and kind wishes for people in Belize.

Click on photos for a larger view
Hurricane Richard has passed and left a lot of damages to trees, the electricity grid and telecommunications services. More than a half of the population is still without electricity. Belize Electricity Limited said that power will be restored within hours, but up to 48 hours in some areas. Belize Telecommunication services are temporarily out of services in some areas too.  So far there have been no reports of death. Below are more pictures of Belize City after the storm!!

Photos courtesy of Luke Guild





Sunday, October 24, 2010

HURRICANE RICHARD SLAMS INTO BELIZE



Pray

By Norman C. Rodriguez

As the end draws near
And Satan roams more
We must draw closer
To God's open door
Get rid of sin
And matters unclean
And join in that effort
To destroy Satan's scheme

God remains unchanging
And showers His grace
But brethren let's hurry
And hasten our pace
For soon come that moment
When the Spirit takes leave
And those who dare tarry
Will wither like leaves

But one sure means
Of keeping in line
Is to stay in touch
By not wasting time
To be right with God
On Judgment Day
There's one sure thing
We must do today
 PRAY!


Hurricane Richard slammed into Belize at approximately 6 in the evening today as a Category One Storm. Most of the hurricane effects are being felt on the coastal areas of Belize and approximately three thousand people including tourists are in shelters countrywide. Hurricane Richard has caused extensive damage so far, downing trees, power lines closing down roads and highways and destroying houses.
All of Belize is without power. Electricity was first lost in the entire southern Toledo District from 5 pm local time. This was followed by Belize City, then Western and Northern Belize.
Electrical power was lost in the Belmopan, capital of Belize at 7:30 p.m tonight as the government earlier this year had decommissioned the capital’s backup diesel generating station. All cable stations stations are offline now due to the power outages.
The only media online at time are Love FM (radio) and Belize.com (web) both running on independent generator and internet service.
At 9 pm local time Richard is crossing Belize approximately 10 miles south of Belmopan with ferocious winds and rain and the city is in utter darkness except for a few embassies and private businesses that have their own backup generators for critical communications needs. One commentator on radio stated it  must be frightening to be enduring a hurricane in darkness – especially for folks in low income homes or in shelters that do not have backup power.

Poem by Norman Rodriguez-Article from Belize.com

Saturday, October 23, 2010

CRIME IS REALLY NOW EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS IN BELIZE

By Norman C. Rodriguez, J.P.


Attorney Richard Stuart's death was literally felt by a number of lecturers at the University of Guyana, where I am presently studying law, including the Head of Department, Professor Eversley; he was shocked and saddened by Richard's death. Mr. Stuart was amongst the first Belizeans to study law at the University of Guyana. He was very instrumental in preparing me for the life here in Guyana.

Richard and Maria Stuart
The popular statement that crime knows no borders showed its stark reality once again last weekend across Belize as, like a cancerous sore, murder found its way into the core of the Belizean society and left a big void in the lives of a number of Belizeans. In one weekend, three mothers and two fathers including Belize’s young lawyer and promising leader, Attorney Richard Stuart became statistics numbers 102-105 for 2010. While this shocked Belizeans and others at home and abroad, the void created by these senseless murders will be mostly felt by a number of grieving family members and those five young children, including four orphans, who will spend the rest of their lives trying to pick up the pieces and fill that void left by the absence of parents, husbands, wives and relatives. More than that, these senseless murders is another signal that criminals are not deterred from the senseless acts of murder which continue to plague Belize weekly. The most recent senseless murders of Attorney Richard Stuart and his wife have spurred Belizeans at home and abroad to action and a resounding call has once again echoed from Belizeans everywhere for capital punishment to be reinstated.

Crime knows no boundaries and a weapon does not discriminate. It has become the norm especially for those living on the south side of Belize City to wake up to another grapevine report that someone they know has been shot again. As a society, we often ignore any form of anti-social activity occurring anywhere but in our own neighborhood. This is not wise because crime spreads like a terminal disease, and it is only a matter of time before it strikes fatally in our communities and homes. We have seen this manifestation become our reality too often. 

Many others have fallen innocently before, and we have often watched tearful mourning parents, children, and other relatives go to pieces over the loss of their loved ones and the manner in which their lives have been taken. Today, we join the families of these most recent victims in mourning and pray that serious change will come. It will take more than hope for the festering issue of crime to be discarded in the past though, and these most recent attacks and murders of high profile Belizeans will require a national effort. Sadly, the politicians are always blamed when things go wrong, but if we do not change the attitude where politicians are expected to perform miracles, then woe be unto us and our society. Politicians are humans just like us who can become emotional and fail too, and those of us who are Christians know that we should put our trust only in God. Only God can work miracles, but people can move mountains when they unite, and that may be what we need to do. We need to pool our resources together and create change in our communities. We cannot stand aside like a parade or carnival viewers on the wayside to enjoy the sights and sounds because a crime scene is not a festive occasion. We can do much together, so let’s transform those volumes of hope and that resounding call for change into ideas and actions for change.
As Belize prepares to send Richard and his wife off, let his passing be a symbol of transformation for Belize, but let us not watch him go off in vain. Let us commit ourselves to a continuous effort for change; let us commit ourselves to understanding what is causing these murders, and let us use our experiences and knowledge to formulate solutions. We must also not continue to ignore that crime has a way of creeping even into the lives of those who put up walls, bars, and pay for protection, so take heed and let us wage war against crime.
Miriam Gillet-murdered prison guard
Raylene Dyer-murdered mother of newborn
In closing, I ask that we do not forget those two young mothers, Miriam Gillett and Raylene Dyer, and that young father who was also senselessly killed. On behalf of the University of Guyana’s Law Faculty, the Loyal and Patriotic Order of Belize-Miami Chapter, Village View Post, we express our deepest condolences and wish God’s blessing on all those affected by these losses as you go through this trying time and mourn the loss of your loved ones. 

Links to news articles-Miriam Gillett:http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/40773


Photo of funeral and video:Wil Moreno
Other photos:Channel5Belize

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MISSING CHILDREN IN BELIZE

TERMS AND CONDITIONS TO COLLECT THE REWARD FOR THE
SAFE RETURN OF BENJAMIN RASH AND ONELIA RASH
A reward in the amount of BZ$12,750.00 (Twelve thousand, Seven Hundred Fifty Belize dollars) is being offered by an anonymous group of donors for the safe return of both Benjamin Rash and Onelia Rash, aged eleven (11) and nine (9), who were last seen on August 30, 2010 near Cattle Landing, in the Toledo District of Belize. Such reward will be paid to the person or persons responsible for the safe return of these children. This reward will only be paid if the following conditions are met:
1. Both children must be alive and in the custody of either the Belize Police Department or the children’s family.
2. The reward will not be paid unless both children are recovered alive. There will be no partial reward for the return of just one child.
3. The reward will not be paid before the children are in the custody of the Belize Police Department or the children’s family. There will be no advance payment of any kind, including (but not limited) to “out-of-pocket expenses,” “facilitation fees,” “locator’s fees,” etc.
4. The reward will be paid to anyone who is aware of the location of the children if he or she provides this information to the Police, and the information leads to the safe recovery of both children. In order to collect the reward, the person providing this information must be able to confirm that they were the ones who provided the information.
5. If more than one person is responsible for the safe recovery of both children, the reward will be split between those persons. In no case will the total reward paid exceed BZ$12,750.00 (Twelve thousand, Seven Hundred, Fifty Belize dollars).
6. If the children are safely returned, and there is a dispute between persons attempting to claim the reward, the Belize Police Department will decide who the reward shall be paid to. The decision of the Belize Police Department will be final.
For further information, or to report the whereabouts of these children, please contact
MIGUEL A. SEGURA, ASST. COMISSIONER,
HEAD NATIONAL CRIMES INVESTIGATION BRANCH,
Crime Stoppers Hot line – 0-800–922-TIPS
e-mail: masegura666@gmail.com


Saturday, October 16, 2010

RAQUEL BATTLE AND THE BLISSFULSAGE FOUNDATION: IMPACTING POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE

Raquel Battle wanted to create a comfortable place where terminally ill cancer patients could die with dignity. She has been living in the US for more than 15 years and is currently pursuing a PhD in Health Services: Health Management and Policy. Raquel is president and founder of the Blissfulsage Foundation. For the past four years Blissfulsage has been planning and working to open the first official hospice and home care program in the country of Belize. The National Edlin Leslie Sr. Hospice and Home Care will be based in Dangriga, Belize. This Hospice program was inspired by Mr. Edlin Leslie, Sr. of Placencia Village, Raquel’s father, who lost his battle with prostate cancer three and a half years ago. The residents of Placencia Village, in Southern Belize, who have participated in and sponsored the annual “Battle Cancer” awareness run/walk in memory of Mr. Edlin Leslie, Sr. for the past four years, can be proud of their contributions in support of this National hospice program.
The general mission of this hospice program is to support those who have been diagnosed with cancer, are terminally ill and have been determined by a physician to be within their last six to eight months of life. Although we know that people will eventually die in our care, Edlin Leslie Sr. Hospice and Home Care will not be a house of sadness, but a house of bliss. Our goal is to assist the patients in managing pain, and other symptoms, so that they can enjoy the last few moments of their lives with their loved ones.
We have been blessed with a space at #6 Bluefield Rd, Dangriga. In exchanged for the renovations the owners have given us full access to use of this facility for a significant period of time. Your support and donation will make it possible to open our program in June 2011.

Presently, we find ourselves at a tipping point. We, the Blissfulsage Foundation, need your support in making the The National Edlin Leslie Sr. Hospice and Home Care program in Belize possible in 2011.
Click on photo to view
Raquel Battle will be running the 26.2 miles Long Beach International Marathon on Sunday October 17th benefitting the Edlin Leslie Sr. Hospice and Home Care. She hopes to raise US$50,000.00 by June 1, 2011 and to reach the projected opening date of June 15th.  Your thoughts, prayers, support, and donations are greatly appreciated and will help to make her dream a reality!!!

If you would like to contribute or learn more, please contact the Belize Cancer Center, Dangriga, Mrs. Sonia Leslie, Placencia, at www.blissfulsage.org or on the "Battle Cancer" facebook cause page. You may locate this cause through Raquel Battle's facebook page.

 If you reside in the US and would like to donate, you may do so by mailing your check or money order to: Blissfulsage, 531 W Roses Rd. San Gabriel CA. 91775

In kind donations may include but are not limited to:

1. Vaseline
2. Balmex
3. A&D ointment
4. Gold bond powder or any powder with zinc oxide
5. Latex gloves
6. Medical tape
7. White cotton twin sheets.
8. Neosporin
9. Q-tips
10. Chucks (disposable and reusable)
11. Depends
12 Gauze
13. J&J lotions
14. Baby wipes
15. Hand sanitizers

We would like to invite Belizean Charities to participate in this program by holding fund raisers to make this dream come through. Thank you for doing what you can to support Hospice Care in Belize. Blissfulsage is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization based in the United States. Most recently Blissfulsage received its nonprofit status in Belize as well.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

BELIZEAN SPOTLIGHT- OCTOBER 2010

Bobby "B" Francis Sutherland

This is a segment to honor and recognize outstanding Belizeans and their descendants for their accomplishment and contributions to life.  As a proud Belizean, I believe it is imperative that we support and promote Belizeans both at home and abroad. You are an important part of our community. We hope we can inspire our children to reach for the stars.

You can nominate a candidate for Belizean Spotlight that you believe has excelled or contributed to our life. 



Previous “Spotlight of the Month” can be found in the archives.
Bobby "B" Francis Sutherland



Bobby B. Sutherland is an up and coming cricket star in the Southern California cricket league; He is the first Belizean Cricketer to have been selected on a trial basis to represent the United States, as it prepares to enter the world cricket league in the not too distant future. Bobby B’s strength is in his clean and swift bowling style, but his over all athletic abilities are exceptional.

Born in Crooked Tree Village, Belize, Bobby B started out his successful cricket career playing with the Brilliant Cricket Club of Crooked Tree Village. Because of his highly competitive spirit and his intolerance for under-performance by his fellow team players, Bobby B. quickly became a controversial figure even to the point of being shunned by some of his fellow team members and their die-hard cricket supporters. He brought this attitude with him, when he arrived in Los Angeles and joined the California / Belize Cricket Club (Cal-Bel) in 1992.

Bobby B. played for a struggling Cal-Bel Club from 1992 to 2002.  During this time his bowling prowess caught the eyes of the Southern California Cricket Association (SCCA) Scouts, who encouraged him to play for an upper division team instead of wasting his talent in the lower division. He heeded the scouts advice and joined the Jamaican “Caribbean Cricket Club (C.C.C.)” in order to play in the upper division. He played with the CCC from 2003 to 2004, during which time the scouts had a chance to assess his performance playing among the cricket elites in California.

In 2004, Bobby B. was selected to play at the professional level on the L.A. UNITY Team, and was being paid US $300.00 per game playing against elite cricketers in the “Fast-n-Furious  Global Action League”. He also accompanied the SCCA All Stars selection side on a tour to Dallas, Texas, to play in the U.S. trials. Bobby B. received professional coaching under the SCCA Cricket Coach, Benjie, whose job it was to prepare the Team to compete against elite cricketers from all over the United States. Benjie, who is a retired professional cricketer from the West Indies, concentrated on fine-tuning Bobby B.’s bowling techniques.  He taught him how to turn the ball from both sides with a smooth delivery. Bobby B. was also exposed to cricket professionals from all over the Cricket World, including the West Indies pace bowler, Dillon, and Franklin Rose, who are his fellow team mates on the Caribbean Cricket Club.

While recovering from a serious knee injury, Bobby B. went back to play for Cal-Bel in the 4th Division, and in 2005, he won nine (9) trophies in the 3rd Division, including the MVP, Most Runs Batted, Batting Average, Centurion, Bowling Average, Most Wickets and Three Hot Tricks. Unfortunately, he was taken off the SCCA Selection side that same year, as he was no longer playing in the Upper Division. He played for Cal-Bel off and on and again won the MVP trophy in 2008.

He underwent knee surgery and sat out the 2009 season.  In 2010, he joined the Caribbean Cricket Club and is currently playing in the Upper Division this season. He took five wickets for twenty-nine runs against the undefeated Hollywood Cricket Club a few weeks ago -out shining his mentor, Franklin ROSE.
Apart from cricket, Bobby B. is also a passionate music lover. He started his music career as a vocalist with the YOUTH CONNECTION BAND in Orange Walk at the age of nineteen with the help of Albert Tillett. He performed with this band playing all over Belize for over four years until he came to Los Angeles, California.


In L.A., he got hooked up with Michael Wagner, a former vocalist for the Lord Rhaburn Band, and they started a Group known as “Michael Wagner and the Roots Band. They hired an Agent who arrange for them to perform at some pretty big events in California, including an event called SHAQTACULAR that Shaq and the L.A. LAKERS hosted in Shaq’s backyard at his Bel-Air home.

They performed for Shaq's and the Los Angeles Lakers event for three consecutive years. The Band stayed together from 1993 to 2001, when Bobby B. decided to form his own Group “ Bobby B. and THE RASTA CHILDREN BAND”, which caters mostly to Reggae Lovers at Sports Bars and Beach Cities and therefore is not well known in the Belizean Community in Los Angeles. They performed at events such as The Amgen Tour of California, Hollywood Red Bull Promotion, L.A. Doggers, L.A Lakers, L.A. Kings Hockey Games, etc. The Rasta Children Band is still going strong today in Los Angeles.


By: Winfield Tillett