Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Just in case anyone reading this blog is interested in what became of the effort to find a charity to provide school uniforms to needy students in Belize , this is what happened. We started out thinking this would be easy, first mistake.  We didn't have a contact in Belize.  But we have the Internet so we thought we could just research the idea and find an easy answer.  We didn't.  What we found were road blocks and stone walls.  Many of the larger charitable organizations have either left Belize or were never there.

I found a catholic charity involved in education that was still functioning in Belize, kind of, sort of, well maybe and it turned out probably not.  I decided to visit the charity in person.  I was going to be in the city where they had an address listed so just thought I would stop by.  I was very optimistic thinking I'll get lots of info and maybe even meet some sisters that have been in Belize working.  That didn't happen because the address was a residential street.  There was a back entrance to a catholic grade school off of this street so I went to the school thinking this must be it. Again wrong.  They had never heard of this organization.  A secretary and a priest spent over an hour with me, a computer and some resource books on catholic charities.  What we found was exactly what I had found an address on the street behind the school, where no charity or catholic organization existed.  The secretary started calling the phone numbers listed, on her 6th try she called a number in Maryland, no where near where I was, and finally got a recording that said she had reached the organization I was looking for and then gave instructions on how to find the Internet site we were looking at, at that very moment.  Obviously this wasn't going to work.

So back to square one, I and a few others went scouting, on the Internet.  We found youth groups, organizations and a very interesting young man that were all dedicated to making life for Belizean children, better, sort of.  We found the organizations but almost every one of them had ceased to exist.  We read about buildings that were going to be built years ago but were never started. We found web sites that had interesting info about what they were doing for Belizean children, but the info and updates had stopped abruptly, sometimes years ago.  I found an impressive young man who is dedicated to empowering the youth of Belize.  But after sending several e mails to his different addresses and getting no response, gave up.  I tried the San Pedro Sun, again no response.  Numerous e mails to different news organizations went unanswered along with all of inquiries to charities in Belize.

We finally came to the right place, through a 'wrong source'  but a he said he had found just what we were looking for:  a charity that helped individual children get an education.  Tailor made for us, right?  Wrong. The guidelines set for our required involvement were extensive and impossible to meet. They wanted a four year contract that would guarantee our financial involvement, and a specific amount of money they would receive each year.  We were still willing to find a way to work with this organization when the big stone wall and road block appeared:  according to our 'wrong source',  the things said on the wimawiw blog and John McAfee were a problem.  When the charity was directed to the blog where we would be posting their info, they balked. They could not afford to piss off the government by having their name affiliated or even mentioned on a blog with the name John McAfee. Belize is their home, they live there, it's their government, right or wrong, and to continue to provide for the students they are committed to, they need government approval and support.  We realized that they were right, not just for their organization but for any others also. 

So, it's over.   We, as a group, learned about the inequality in the Belizean education system on WIM, and wanted to use the blog to help some children get uniforms so they could attend school.  We can't (so far) as a group, and probably not connected to the blog. individuals we still can.  Take a look around the Internet, there are a few good charities in both Belize and the USA, that would be blessed to have anything you can give.  This one out of Central Florida works with The Department of Human Services Child Protection and Family Support in Belize, and targets a specific group of needy children to provide assistance to.  Or how about these innovative teachers and students from Kentucky? Have a look.  If you know of a charity in Belize that is doing good work please share in comment form on WIMAWIW for WEB to distribute to anyone asking, we will not give out your e-mail address, nor publish your comment unless you want us to.   Thanks.


****From WEB*****

Much thanks to Sandwillow for the update, and the hours of work put forth to try to bring this goal to fruition.  I know how frustrating it was to be met with obstacle after obstacle.  Thanks also to SL for her participation in and commitment to our endeavor.  It's been very disappointing to realize that our goals will not be met in this current climate, especially given the importance of education to all young people.  With any luck, someone reading this blog will be able to provide information or a contact that will allow us to get back on track.  Quite frankly, when it comes to our 'wrong source',  I'm still not sure how much of anything he reported back to us was accurate.  Being truthful was not one of his character traits........No mas pantalones.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And while we may be temporarily stone-walled, the horrible 'norm' - of only 50% of students being ALLOWED to continue their education past middle school, continues in Belize.  The combination of expenses to the student's family,  and the truth about available space in the schools is proving more detrimental to the people with every passing year.  Look at the picture to the left.  Does it bother you as much as it bothers me?  The second statement seems like a reprimand, but should instead be offering suggestions or opening a dialogue.  Obviously there is a recognized problem in Belize when it comes to education.   Is it cultural?  Is it the parent's own lack of education?  Or is it because they have to work so many hours to pay for said supplies?  Maybe it's all just part of a plan they're ignoring?  I don't know, I just wish whoever cared enough to write this had also provided links to help.  The only way to create change is for those who know better to teach those who don't.  But then, does the author actually know better?  As for the first statement ... BULLSHIT.  'Your son's'..... ?????? WTF??????  Let's take an outdated, archaic tradition and validate it in a newspaper.  Let's make life even harder for girls.  What is wrong with these people?  I find it a blatant disregard for the future of all female Belizeans.
Here on wimawiw, I saw this article, which acknowledges how tough it is to make ends meet when it comes to education in Belize (and also how that's just accepted???), but no one is pressing for change.  Hopefully Sandwillow's post will get the conversation going again.

McAfee Weekly Whenever is alive and well, but slightly exhausted, LOL.  Both John and I are extremely busy, making it impossible to do weekly posts right now, but we still want to give you the up front and personal stories you were enjoying so much, so we'll be back soon.  Thanks for your patience, I can guarantee it will be worth the wait.  Until then, editing the McAfee video sounds like fun....check it out here.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN....................


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the update Sand Willow. And thank you a whole lot to WEB for keeping us and this blog going. Yes it has been quite a journey.

    As I have said so many times before, there are 2 that the tourists and ex-pats see and the one that the Belizeans live in, every day. Tourists go home, ex-pats enjoy their extended vacations and somehow the people of Belize carry on as best they can.

    Through this blog and WIM we have tried to raise the awareness of the injustices that are happening in Belize. John McAfee did what he could. He started businesses and provided jobs. He donated generously to the local police.

    Change needs to come from within. That's why education is so important. I remain hopeful that in some way our efforts, and John's, made a difference. Time will tell.