Belize is a small country in Central America of approximately 330,000 persons with roughly half of those persons being under the age of 19 years. A large portion of education in Belize is delivered through a partnership between the church and state and referred to as the "Church-State Relationship." Many youth in Belize are unable to attend school beyond the primary level, especially in the Cayo District, which includes the Belmopan area. Belmopan is the Capital of Belize which was moved from the Belize City area after major hurricane destruction from Hurricane Hattie in 1961. In 1970, the first phase of construction of the new city was completed. The population of the Belmopan area is growing and since the city is so new there is a deficit of high schools in this area of Belize. The construction of this new Methodist high school in Belmopan began in early 2011 and in September of 2013 four classrooms were completed for use. Lack of funding has been the primary reason that the project is not further along at this point. UMVIM teams from the USA have worked on the school, but it is a massive undertaking. Collecting funds through The Advance will allow the project to be completed sooner by supplying funding for materials as well as labor to employ Belizean nationals to work on the site along side and in between UMVIM teams coming to work and serve. There is a great need to finish construction on four more classrooms by Fall of 2014. It took 2 & ½ years to build the first 4 classrooms and the second 4 need to be completed on a much faster time frame.
Goals & Objectives
The objective is to provide a high school for the youth of the Cayo District of Belize in which the capital city of Belmopan lies. The first intake of students accepted 96 students in the Fall of 2013 with future intakes over the next 3 years (covering 4 years of students). Therefore new classrooms will need to be ready each coming year beginning Sept 2013 and for the 3 years following. The plan is for 90 +/- students to come in each year totaling 360 student at full capacity. Phase 1 consists of an L shape facility. Both sides of the "L" will have 4 rooms on the first floor for a total of 8 rooms on the ground floor. Additional rooms will be built on a second floor. This Advance proposal applies to finishing Phase 1.
As construction is already underway we have a site, government approval, laborers, etc. but need money! The funding provided through The Advance will be used to purchase materials for construction and employ Belizeans to complete Phase 1 (with UMVIM teams coming in to work as they are available). This portion consists of 4 classrooms. Additionally, we are constructing a bathroom facility as a separate building adjacent to the main structure.
The foundation is partially poured for the additional side of the "L" and we will hope to finish that portion for the next intake of students in Fall 2014 as well as adding 4 classrooms on the second floor of the existing building.