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 has allowed 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. As of the fall of 2015 we have finished 75% of the total project, being the first and second floors of one side of the building and the 1st floor of the second building. There is great need to finish construction on the final set of classrooms by Fall 2016.
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. The Fall of 2014 we accepted 90+ more students for our second intake. The Fall of 2015 we received 90+ additional students and then in Fall of 2016 we will accept our fourth intake. The goal for 2016 is to build the second floor and will hope to re-finish the downstairs with administrative offices, library and technology/science centers and move the classrooms up to the second floor. 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 with 2 levels on each side. This Advance proposal applies to finishing Phase 1.
As construction is already underway we have a good start, 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). Phase 1 consists of an L shaped building to house 4 grades or "forms". Additionally, we have constructed a bathroom facility as a separate building adjacent to the main structure. We hope to continue this ADVANCE after the construction is finished in the form of a scholarship program for students.