This year marks the eighth year of Full Basket Belize’s Community Grant Program. Over US$18,000 has been awarded thus far, funding grassroots endeavors in all corners of Belize to improve the education, health, and environment of local communities. Since FBB is completely volunteer-run, nearly every cent donated goes directly to the programs we underwrite. Thank you, FBB contributors!
2013 Grant Recipients
Caribbean SEA: The San Mateo neighborhood on Ambergris Caye currently lacks proper water and sanitation infrastructure, creating significant health and environmental risks. Caribbean SEA will train and work with residents in San Mateo to take steps to address their water and sanitation needs. The goal will be to reduce waterborne illnesses, minimize environmental impacts, and improve the overall quality of life for the community.
Cornerstone Foundation: The Cornerstone Foundation plans to use the FBB grant to increase awareness about domestic violence and its connection to HIV/AIDS in San Ignacio and its outlying villages. Over the course of the year, Cornerstone plans to develop materials and conduct direct outreach to schools, health fairs, and community events.
Ocean Academy FBB’s award will support the Female Leadership Community (FLC) at Ocean Academy, a high school on Caye Caulker. The FLC was established to counter high drop-out rates and high teen pregnancy rates among the island’s young women. Using poetry and literature discussions, the FLC will help young women build self-esteem, trust, communication and leadership skills, and awareness of career and academic opportunities.
Youth Enhancement Services: Youth Enhancement Services (YES) empowers at-risk women and girls by providing education and skills training to youth who have dropped out of traditional schools or who cannot attend due to life circumstances in the Belize City area. FBB funds will support YES’s Training Center where young women will learn culinary and hospitality skills that can help them gain future employment. Additionally, the food prepared by the class will help supply YES’s feeding program to help those students who are food insecure.
2012 Grant Recipients
Toledo Ecotourism Association (TEA): For over twenty years, the Toledo Ecotourism Association has brought rural Mayan and Garifuna communities in southern Belize together to coordinate ecotourism activities in the region. TEA will use their IFOB grant to assist in the development and implementation of a sustainable development plan to help the region manage economic growth while preserving and conserving their biodiversity and cultural heritage. To learn more about TEA, visit: http://teabelize.org/
Mary Open Doors: Mary Open Doors aims to empower and improve the well-being of women and children affected by domestic violence in the Cayo District. With IFOB funding, Mary Open Doors will implement a series of outreach presentations to educate teens and women in 32 rural, underserved communities about the link between domestic violence and HIV/AIDS and how to protect against both. To see more about Mary Open Doors, visit: http://maryopendoors.org/
Chiquibul-Mopan-Macal-Belize-Watershed Alliance (CMMBWA): The CMMBWA is focused on protecting, conserving, and preserving the Chiquibul, Mopan, Macal, and Belize Watersheds for present and future generations. Their grant will combine environmental education with the restoration of eroded banks along the Belize, Macal, and Mopan rivers. CMMBWA will engage the community, including local schools, in regular monitoring, clean-up, and tree planting.
2011 Grant Recipients
Arenal Village: The banks of the Mopan River have eroded considerably due to land clearing around Arenal Village. With their IFOB grant, the village council will engage community members and school children in environmental education and active restoration and maintenance of new vegetation along the river bank. See photos and more information in the IFOB Fall 2011 newsletter.
Our Lady of Guadalupe (OLOG) School: The school has a large and successful music program and recently received over US$15,000 worth of new instruments. The school will use IFOB funds to construct proper storage for their instruments to maximize the life of the instruments and their program. Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkC00hBWzy8 to see OLOG students playing their steel drums.
Sarteneja Village: Sponsored by IFOB, Sarteneja Fishermen Association, in partnership with the Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development, will conduct an environmental education course for children of fishermen on marine ecology and the sustainable use of fishing resources. The course will conclude with a hands-on trip to Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve.
2010 Grant Recipients
United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM): IFOB funding will assist UNIBAM in conducting targeted HIV and reproductive health interventions with 40 young people from Belmopan, Dangriga, and Orange Walk. The grant will fund transportation and catering for the peer educators as well as refurbishment of a building for use for the training. IFOB support will contribute to HIV prevention education for 40 youth leaders. An update on this project can be found in the Winter 2010 newsletter.
Plenty Belize: IFOB monies will be used to purchase equipment for drying and preserving of seeds. Included will be a solar refrigerator and containers for seed storage. The grant will also fund training for Toledo district farmers in the practice of sowing and saving seed. For more information on Plenty Belize, visit http://www.plenty.org/Belize-overview.html.
Reading is Fun: This IFOB grant will fund after-school reading programs, including materials and equipment for bilingual education, at San Juan Bosco RC School. The program will be open to the school’s 322 students between the ages of 5 and 15. This area, in the village of Cowpen, is in great need of English language materials and training. With IFOB help, the after-school program will undertake community outreach, through the children, to promote the importance of bilingual education.
2009 Grant Recipients
Macal River Clean-up: The Macal River, up- and downstream from Santa Elena and San Ignacio towns in Cayo, is perpetually in need of clean up and garbage collection along its banks. The after-school Environmental Clubs of St. Ignatius High School and Sacred Heart Junior College will receive funds to “adopt” this portion of the river and conduct monthly clean-up activities with an additional clean-up to be scheduled following the annual La Ruta Maya canoe race in March. Funding from IFOB will be used to purchase garbage bags, canoe rentals, lunches, two banners (with club names and the IFOB logo displayed), and fuel for vehicles to deliver garbage to the city dump on the days of the scheduled clean ups. See the IFOB Summer 2010 newsletter for photos of the students at their La Ruta Maya clean-up activity.
San Marcos Community Center and Health Post Improvements: The village of San Marcos in Toledo district was heavily damaged by hurricane Iris in 2001. The village school serves as the primary hurricane shelter, but it is not large enough to shelter all 578 village residents. The Community Center, which houses the village Health Post, could shelter the rest of the residents but lacks proper facilities. Intended to serve as a community building and hurricane shelter, latrine facilities were never constructed. The Health Post has operated for two years without bathroom facilities or a sink for visiting doctors to use in washing their hands. Because of a regular increase in population, the school has become overcrowded. The Community Center is now functioning as a Standard III classroom and serves 27 students daily. IFOB funding will be used to improve the facilities for future emergencies and regular use by children. See the Winter 2009 newsletter for an article and photo.
Succotz Village Library Furnishing Project: The Succotz Health Committee teamed up with a local non-profit, ProBelize Service Corps, to construct a multi-purpose community building. The primary purpose of the building is to serve as a library for the children of Succotz, lending books and providing space to tutor children with homework. In addition, it will serve as a health outpost during clinical outreaches for vaccinations or pre-natal clinics and provide shelter during hurricanes. While the Health Committee and ProBelize successfully mobilized materials to construct this multi-purpose facility, it lacks bookshelves, tables, and chairs, and so cannot operate as a proper library facility. IFOB funding will provide these basic furnishings. See the IFOB Summer 2010 newsletter for photos of students using the Succotz library and its energetic and dedicated volunteer, Ms. Olivia Pat.
2008 Grant Recipients
Caye Caulker Environmental Mural: IFOB will finance the painting of a beautiful mural depicting the rich marine life of the area, thereby promoting environmental awareness. The painting will be done by the Caye Caulker Youth Environmental Club.
Recycling Art and Education Program: The University of Belize in Belmopan will sponsor this program with IFOB funds.
2007 Grant Recipients
Hummingbird Elementary After-school Chess Club: New chess sets, teaching materials, and a display board will be furnished to the Belize association of Chess Players for use at this school in Belize City.
HIV/AIDS Drama Project with Youths pan di Move: With aid and direction from members of the Belize City Institute of Creative Arts, the youth group called “Youths pan di Move” sponsored by the Cornerstone Foundation of Cayo will produce and perform a five-act play incorporating challenges faced by Belizean youth. In addition to raising awareness of HIV/AIDS, the play will address issues such as teen pregnancy, drug abuse, and peer pressure. See http://www.cornerstonefoundationbelize.org for more information on the Cornerstone Foundation.
St. Alphonsus Elementary School Organic Gardening Project: IFOB monies will be used to construct a fence around the school’s organic garden located in Seine Bight Village in the Stann Creek district. The garden provides organic produce for the school lunch program and provides the opportunity for students to learn about science and agriculture firsthand.