No More Poverty (and a lot more Love) in Belize
Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
Yes, from our “more good news about Belize” files comes this nice story about two brothers and their charity working towards the eradication of poverty in Belize.
And, at the risk of sounding like the cheerleading squad for Belize’s First Lady, the indefatigable Kim Simplis Barrow, this is based on another one of her good works.
Ms Simplis Barrow, who is also Belize’s special Envoy for Women and Children, came up with the idea of the Belize Inspiration Centre (http://www.belizeinspirationcenter.org), which will be set up to provide services to children with disabilities and is expected to open early 2014.
Now, we all know the difficulties in getting something like this off the ground, especially given the realities of a developing country such as Belize.
Enter the Omidi brothers, Julian and his doctor sibling Michael, who have a charity known as No More Poverty. The brothers have kindly agreed to contribute to the Belize Inspiration Centre to ensure it gets off the ground, and we’d like to join in letting them know how grateful Belize is, as there are precious few opportunities for children with special needs.
When it is completed in early 2014, the Belize Inspiration Center will be there to provide support to children from birth to 16 years old, giving priority to those with special needs and disabilities. It will also provide specific stimulation work and childcare and at the same time train parents, helping them develop practices at home to stimulate and support their disabled child.
That’s a pretty holistic approach that sounds like a recipe for success.
Julian Omidi said, “Children are the most vulnerable to life impacts of illness and poverty in disadvantaged areas. Ms Barrow has been working on behalf of women and children for many years. We are confident that her efforts with the Belize Inspiration Center will help even more people in need and we are glad to be a part of it.”
His confidence is well founded. Ms Simplis Barrow has been a tireless advocate of children for some time, and this year she has been especially active overseas raising awareness and, importantly, money for paediatric hospital care much more.
With her drive and the help of charities such as No More Poverty, the future for Belize’s kids looks brighter all the time.
In addition to her work as Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children and as the Global Ambassador for Special Olympics International, Ms Simplis Barrow founded the Lifeline Foundation (http://www.lifelinebelize.org) back in 2006, a successful charity relief organization that helps to provide food, medicine, clothing, and other necessities to children who lack these essentials due to poverty or natural disaster.
The Omidi brothers’ No More Poverty (http://www.nmp.org), for its part, is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to end poverty in Belize and elsewhere by supporting the efforts of like-minded charities and agencies. According to Digital Journal’s November 27 online edition, The NGO’s plan is to expand current activities to include fostering business development and job creation in undeveloped and disenfranchised areas.
“As the effects of extreme poverty continue to plague children, adults, and families everywhere, taking action becomes increasingly imperative. That is why my brother Michael and I have chosen to step-up our efforts and be part of the solution through our charity, No More Poverty,” Julian Omidi said.
Or, as Ms Simplis Barrow puts it, “If a society is judged not on the situation of its wealthiest but on how it treats its most vulnerable then Belize has some way to go in re-dressing the situation of its poorest children and therein children with a disability.
“With the construction of the Inspiration Center, Belize will be able to provide a necessary service to children with disabilities as there are currently very limited opportunities for children to receive much-needed therapy. I hope that you will support us in this venture as we work to take the Inspiration Center from a dream to a reality.”
These are lofty goals, and why not? Remember Belize at the time of Independence just over 30 years ago? OK, we have some things that still need to be done and some problems resolved, but really, look how far we’ve travelled in a relatively short amount of time. And how?
Lofty goals. Like a little country fighting for independence and then becoming one of the world’s most respected eco-tourism destinations.
So in light of that, the goals of non-profit groups and the energy of people like Ms Simplis Barrow, the Omidi brothers and other, more unsung heroes of Belize, it seems to us that there’s some very practical energy behind the dreams and hopes that Belize was founded on.
To learn more, or better yet, donate, check out the Belize Inspiration Centre (http://www.belizeinspirationcenter.org) and/or No More Poverty (http://www.nmp.org).
It will make you and many others feel better. Besides, ‘tis the season….
Read about more poverty alleviation initiatives in Belize:
On the Humanitarian Road Again with Belize’s First Lady
Go Girls Go! Chaa Creek likes the “Girls Fly” Initiative
Belize PM’s UK Visit to Include Environmental Talks