Hundreds of Belizean citizens took to social media over the past 3 days to show support and solidarity to Guatemala’s Volcano Eruption victims. Reports are that over 60 people perished, while more than 3,000 people have been left homeless since Sunday. The Belize Red Cross is one among the many organizations mobilizing support for emergency response to victims in Guatemala. Their office in Belize is in direct communication with the Guatemala Red Cross to assess the assistance needed. Our Media Colleagues in Belize City sat down with the Director General of Belize City Red Cross, Lilly Bowman, who made a public appeal.
Lilly Bowman, Director General, Belize Red Cross: We have decided to launch this appeal but we’re only accepting monetary donations because we have no storage space for in kind. We have no resources to even get it to them. I know that our San Pedro branch has launched an appeal as well, and they’re going to be doing a telethon; the funds will be processed through the Red Cross, but the In Kind donations will be handled by another organization or by the town council, I’m not sure. Here we are also partnering with NEMO. Whatever in kind donations are given, they will handle, we will handle the monetary donations. We will process that through the red cross in Guatemala through our international federation.
. According to Bowman, the Belize Red Cross did not set a financial target for their Guatemala emergency response support; however, they do believe that the right time to act is now.
Lilly Bowman, Director General, Belize Red Cross: It is fresh. It is here in front of us so people will more react quickly if they could see the suffering now and it’s fairly new in their hearts and in their minds. We have not set a target for how much we will raise, it just depends right now on how the people in Belize will respond. It also depends because we’re talking with our Sister National Society to try and get a better picture of the extent of, for instance, their plan of action as well.
The Belize Red Cross has been an active participant in responding to national emergencies across the Region, including last year’s Hurricane Season victims.