A Community Care Center was unveiled today in Dangriga. The care center will cater to vulnerable children and is also geared at addressing poverty alleviation and social wellbeing.
A well furnished single-storey concrete building was handed over by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to the residents of Dangriga. It was received by the Mayor Major (Ret’d) H. Gilbert Swaso and Productive Organization of Women in Action (POWA) Dangriga chapter of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Transformation during an official ceremony held on Friday, 15 February, 2013 at the 2nd New Site in Dangriga.
The overall goal for the Community Care Center is to “Halt the spread of HIV with special emphasis on young people 15 – 24 years in Dangriga, in addition to the other objectives of the service that include to 1) reduce sexual transmission of HIV among young people; 2) improve the quality of life of people living with HIV and AIDS; 3) improve the coverage and quality of the continuum of care for HIV infected and affected population through enhanced Anti-Retroviral Treatment; and 4) enhance the skill sets of human resources at every in the national response to HIV and AIDS.
The presenters at the ceremony were His Worship, Mayor H. Gilbert Swaso, Mr. Daniel Alemu, Assistant Representative of UNDP and Miss Michele Irving who presented an overview of the building and the vote of thanks.
During his presentation, the Mayor reminded the residents of Dangriga of the neglect this municipality endured over several years although there is the availability of land through Government reserved for public purposes. He cited the land on which the Community Care Center is built on as an example. In presenting a short overview of the project, Mayor Swaso explained that “Together with the Productive Organization with Women in Action (POWA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Dangriga Town Council the concept for a Community Care Center was sown, nurtured such that today we are gathered to transition to a new phase on this journey to care for our children”. He reiterated that the primary function of the building that resulted from meaning collaboration, and the first of its kind in the country of Belize, is to serve the orphan and vulnerable children in Dangriga who are afflicted and affected by the scourge of HIV and AIDS”.
Mayor Swaso did not hesitate to equate the Community Care Center with the Belize Cancer Center and of course, the Southern Regional Hospital that are offering excellent primary care to the residents of the southern districts; Dangriga and Toledo and by extension, the entire country and implored the residents and the care givers and receivers and beneficiaries to ensure that the building serves its purpose well.
In conclusion Mayor H. Gilbert Swaso said “This is one way that, together, we can ensure that our children be the future leaders, farmers, tour-guides, fishermen and boat captains, contractors and builders etc. Together let us press the reset button and join the campaign to ‘Love Dangriga, Clean Dangriga, Beautify Dangriga and Sell Dangriga”.
Mr. Daniel Alemu, the Assistant Representative of UNDP in his presentation praised, foremost, UNDP’s invaluable involvement and contribution to Dangriga through the project.
In her presentation, Michele Irving of POWA and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Transformation expressed gratitude to UNDP, Dangriga Town Council, POWA and those present at the opening.