On Thursday, the U.S. Southern Command launched its New Horizons 2014 exercise, dedicated to bringing the military personnel of Belize and the U.S. and the local Ministries of Education and Health into partnership for training and improvement of social services.
At the launch, U.S. Charge’ D’Affaires Margaret Hawthorne spoke of the scope of the project.
“As it did last year and in previous years, the New Horizon’s Exercise will have an immediate positive impact on the people of Belize and on the Americans working on these projects in different communities across the country. Mainly, soldiers and marines from active duty and National Guard units will work together with elements of the BDF to build four new classrooms in the Belize districts and to improve facilities in the Belmopan hospital. We can see one of the new classrooms is already well on its way after 10 days of construction. This combined team, led by members of the 12th US Air Force. We work closely with our Peace Corps volunteers to also provide medical services to thousands of Belizeans around the country. Both the school construction and the medical events will complement medical services already offered by the government of Belize while simultaneously providing training to Both US and Belizean military engineers and medical professionals”.
The senior official also speaks about work here in Belmopan in the area of health.
Margaret Hawthorne: “In Belmopan, New Horizons ’14 will help to construct and expand the Mental Health Unit of the Belmopan Hospital, providing much needed space and upgrades for this wing of the hospital. New Horizons personnel will conduct medical exercises in the areas of general and family care, dental care, ophtalmology, urology, surgery, gynecology services, and more, provide health services education. New Horizons will partner with local companies and NGOs to work with all sectors of the Belizean business community, (I heard this morning that all of the materials that you see here, were bought here in Belize. Bowen & Bowen will be providing tents and donating water to clients at the medical sites,and the Midwest Distribution Center in Lauder-dale Saints’ Charities, will be donating chairs and medical supplies to complete the project”.
One of the schools to benefit is Edward P. Yorke High School, who will get a permanent classroom to alleviate space issues affecting delivery of education, according to principal Rodrick Cardinez. Hattieville Government School, Sadie Vernon High School and Stella Maris School will also be receiving classrooms and there will be free medical clinics across all disciplines. Minister of Education Patrick Faber thanked the U.S. of behalf of the Government of Belize for continuing to partner with Belize to promote important investments in Belize’s development. The program has been implemented since 2007.