It was formed by concerned residents of Belize City five years ago and has helped numerous children attend school and parents navigate the ins and outs of parenting. Belize Kids First today celebrated its fifth anniversary. Founder and veteran teacher Annie Palacio spoke of the ethos of the program.
“Usually what we try to do is that anyone that wants to partner with us, most uf them are very busy people, Mrs. Schakron is a very busy person, but she has been there whenever I need her for anything. She has always been there. One of the things that we do for fundraising, because this is literally a mom and pop organization, we don’t have any big money in no bank account, nothing like that. Everyone that comes to us – every child that we send to school since 2010, has been through the bank accounts of other people. Before then, it was ours and we still do that, but the people that come to us are those people who automatically give up their finances to help these students to go to school.”
The organization is partnering with the Belize City Council, beginning under past Mayor Zenaida Moya, and with some businessmen and women in the Belize District to fund scholarships. One of the first was the Christopher Galvez Memorial Scholarship in honor of the former footballer and nephew of Yolanda Schakron who was murdered in December of 2009 and whose murder remains unsolved. Recipient Dominique Noralez wants to become a forensic scientist and is currently studying at St. John’s College (Junior College). She related some of the lessons she has learned.
“My four years at S.C.A . proved to be the setting of my greatest life realizations that I will, without a doubt, be a product and not a byproduct of my society. This realization was thought to me by three paramount lessons. Lesson one, people will enter your life space for a purpose. People will try to tear you down and strip you to your core simply because your goals are not in line with theirs. Some will present you with the moon and the stars , but really as we Belizeans would ut it, ‘they are snakes under grass’. You must realize people’s purpose in your life. They are there for a reason, a season or a life time. Once you learn and understand that construct, there will be no one that can stall or interrupt your greatness that God has created for you. Wake up and work. Quite contrary to popular beliefs, good things don’t come to does who wait. Great oppertunities come to those who chase. Sitting down and hitting yourself and your situation does nothing to improve the circumstance. You have to think strategically, plan wisely, invest in and apply yourselves. You are your greatest asset and resource. Do not be a waste.”