Monday, March 14, 2011

BELMOPAN STUDENTS TO ENJOY MEALS UNDER NEW LUNCH SPACES PROJECT


Official launching of the Lunch Spaces Project
Signing of Tripartite Agreement by Mr Daniel Cano from SIF and Hon John Saldivar
Belmopan Area Rep Hon John Saldivar and Minister Faber were among invited guests
Schools Rep Mrs Barrette Belisle delivering her remarks
Belmopan, Monday 14th March, 2011:  Over 2,000 students in the nation’s capital, Belmopan, who stay at school for lunch will soon be able to enjoy their meals in new lunch spaces to be constructed as part of the Belmopan School Lunch Spaces Project, a venture which was launched this morning during an official ceremony held at the United Evergreen School campus in Belmopan.

The project will be implemented by the Social Investment Fund, (S.I.F.) and financed by the Government of Belize at a total cost of $185,196.00 under the Commonwealth Debt Initiative (CDI).
United Evergreen Students singing National Anthem
Some of the students at the launching
Some of the students at the launching
Students of St Ann's Angilcan School making presentation
The project will entail the construction of five lunch spaces measuring 20 ft by 20 ft with wash hand basin and water foundation, and three lunch spaces measuring 20 ft by 30 ft at eight schools in Belmopan.  These include:  St Ann’s Anglican School, St Martin’s Government Primary School, United Evergreen Primary School, Belmopan Seventh Day Adventist Primary School, St Michael’s R.C. Primary School, Garden City Primary School, Kuxlin Ha Government Primary School and Our Lady of Guadalupe Primary School.  Under the project, Belmopan Comprehensive School and Our Lady of Guadalupe High School will receive picnic tables.  The lunch spaces will be complete with floor slab, columns and zinc roof and some will be equipped with lights and ceiling fans.  The project will also include nutrition training and food handlers training for teachers and persons responsible for feeding programs with a view to encourage the preparation of healthy food to students.

Belmopan has a total of nine primary schools and two secondary schools. The estimated total population of these schools is 4,572. The city of Belmopan has grown both by population and area since its inception.  Hence, many students now attend a school which is not near to their home. With many parents commuting for work, the students are unable to go home for lunch.  Subsequently, many primary schools have introduced feeding programs where the students pay a subsidized fee for prepared hot lunches, or the school has a canteen on campus where lunch is sold at reasonable rates. 

A community needs assessment conducted by SIF has revealed that from the 4,572 students some 2,127 or approximately 45% of the student population remain in school for lunch.  Unfortunately, the majority of the schools have no lunch sheds and many students have to sit under trees or other uncomfortable places. The Lunch Space Project will address this situation.

The guest speaker at this morning’s launching of the project was the Hon Patrick Faber, Minister of Education and Youth. Other speakers included the Hon John Saldivar, Minister of Public Service, Governance Improvement, Elections and Boundaries and Sport and Area Representative for Belmopan, representatives of the Social Investment Fund and representatives of the participating schools.  Lively presentations were also made by the students of United Evergreen, St Martin’s Government School, Kuxlin Ha Government Primary School, St Ann’s Anglican Primary School and St Michael’s RC School.
Minister of Education, Hon Patrick Faber, delivers keynote address as Minister Saldivar listens attentively
Members of the public at the launching

For further information please contact Mr Mike Hernandez Jr. J.P., Director of Public Relations of the Social Investment Fund at Tel: 822-0239 or via email at mike.hernandez@sifbelize.org

Press Release No. 8- 2011

No comments: